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Author of M Kadesh-Barnea/* "Friendship the Master-Passion/* etc. 







IT was while engaged in the preparation of a book 
still unfinished on the Sway of Friendship in the 
World's Forces, 1 that I came upon facts concerning 
the primitive rite of covenanting by the inter-trans- 
fusion of blood, which induced me to turn aside from 
my other studies, in order to pursue investigations in 
this direction. 

Having an engagement to deliver a series of lec- 
tures before the Summer School of Hebrew, under 
Professor W. R. Harper, of Chicago, at the buildings 
of the Kpiscopal Divinity School, in Philadelphia, I 
decided to make this rite and its Unkings the theme 
of that series ; and I delivered three lectures, accord- 
ingly, June 16-18, 1885. 

The interest manifested in the subject by those who 
heard the Lectures, as well as the importance of the 
theme itself, has seemed sufficient to warrant its pre- 
sentation to a larger public. In this publishing, the 
form of the original Lectures has, for convenience* 
sake, been adhered to \ although some considerable 

1 Since published, with the title of " Friendship the Master- Passion " 



additions to the text, in the way of illustrative facts, 
have been made since the delivery of the Lectures ; 
while other similar material is given in an Appendix. 
From the very freshness of the subject itself, there 
was added difficulty in gathering the material for its 
illustration and exposition. So far as I could learn, 
no one had gone over the ground before me in this 
particular line of research ; hence the various items 
essential to a fair statement of the case must be 
searched for through many diverse volumes of travel 
and of history and of archaeological compilation, with 
only here and there an incidental disclosure in return. 
Yet, each new discovery opened the way for other 
discoveries beyond ; and even after the Lectures, in 
their present form, were already in type, I gained 
many fresh facts, which I wish had been earlier avail- 
able to me. Indeed, I may say that no portion of the 
volume is of more importance than the Appendix; 
where are added facts and reasonings bearing directly 
on well-nigh every main point of the original Lectures. 
There is cause for just surprise that the chief facts 
of this entire subject have been so generally over- 
looked, in the theological discussions, and in the 
physio-sociological researches, of the earlier and the 
later times. Yet this only furnishes another illustra- 
tion of the inevitably cramping influence of a pre- 
conceived fixed theory, to which all the ascertained 


facts must be conformed, in any attempt at thorough 
and impartial scientific investigation. It would seem 
to be because of such cramping, that no one of the 
modern students of myth and folk-lore, of primitive 
ideas and customs, and of man's origin and history, 
has brought into their true prominence, if, indeed, he 
has even noticed them in passing, the universally 
dominating primitive convictions : that the blood is 
the life ; that the heart, as the blood-fountain, is the 
very soul of every personality; that blood-transfer is 
soul-transfer; that blood-sharing, human, or divine- 
human, secures an inter-union of natures ; and that a 
union of the human nature with the divine is the 
highest ultimate attainment reached out after by the 
most primitive, as well as by the most enlightened, 
mind of humanity. 

Certainly, the collation of facts comprised in this 
volume grew out of no preconceived theory on the 
part of its author. Whatever theory shows itself in 
their present arrangement, is simply that which the 
facts themselves have seemed to enforce and establish, 
in their consecutive disclosure. 

I should have been glad to take much more time 
for the study of this theme, and for the rearranging of 
its material, before its presentation to the public ; but, 
with the pressure of other work upon me, the choice 
was between hurrying it out in its present shape, and 


postponing it indefinitely. All things considered, I 
chose the former alternative. 

In the prosecution of my investigations, I acknowl- 
edge kindly aid from Professor Dr. Georg Ebers, 
Principal Sir William Muir, Dr. Yung Wing, Dean 
E. T. Bartlett, Professors Doctors John P. Peters and 
J. G. Lansing, the Rev. Dr. M. H. Bixby, Drs. D. G. 
Brinton and Charles W. Dulles, the Rev. Messrs. R. M. 
Luther and Chester Holcombe, and Mr. E. A. Barber; 
in addition to constant and valuable assistance from 
Mr. John T. Napier, to whom I am particularly in- 
debted for the philological comparisons in the Oriental 
field, including the Egyptian, the Arabic, and the 

At the best, my work in this volume is only tenta- 
tive and suggestive. Its chief value is likely to be in 
its stimulating of others to fuller and more satisfactory 
research in the field here brought to notice. Suffi- 
cient, however, is certainly shown, to indicate that the 
realm of true biblical theology is as yet by no means 
thoroughly explored. 


August *4, 


THE first edition of this work was soon exhausted, 
and a second was called for. But further investiga- 
tions of mine in the same general field had revealed 
a new line of facts, which I desired to present in a 
supplement to a second edition. I wished, also, to 
give fuller proofs in the direction of specific excep- 
tions taken by eminent critics to certain positions in 
the original work. Therefore I delayed the issue of 
a new edition. 

Circumstances quite beyond my control have hin- 
dered me in the execution of my purpose until the 
present time. I now send out a new edition, with a 
Supplement containing important facts in the line of 
the original investigation. But much of the matter 
that I have discovered in other lines is reserved for a 
new work in the field of primitive covenants, including 
the Name Covenant, the Covenant of Salt, and the 
Threshold Covenant. This new work I hope to have 
ready at an early day. 

The reception accorded to The Blood Covenant by 
scientists and theologians on both sides of the ocean 


viii PREFA CE. 

was gratifying beyond my highest anticipations. 
From various directions I am hearing of the restate- 
ment of religious dogmas by prominent and influential 
Christian teachers, in the light newly thrown on the 
terminology of Scripture by the disclosures of this 
volume, and it is with pleasure that I respond to calls 
from all sides for a fresh edition of it. 

In my careful revision of the work I am indebted for 
valuable aid to Professor Dr. Hermann V. Hilprecht, 
the eminent Assyriologist. 



January 30, 1893. 

















UNION, 332. 








THOSE who are most familiar with the Bible, and 
who have already given most time to its study, have 
largest desire and largest expectation of more knowl- 
edge through its farther study. And, more and more, 
Bible study has come to include very much that is 
outside of the Bible. 

For a long time, the outside study of the Bible was 
directed chiefly to the languages in which the Bible 
was written, and to the archaeology and the manners 
and customs of what are commonly known as the 
Lands of the Bible. Nor are these well-worked fields, 
by any means, yet exhausted. More still remains to 
be gleaned from them, each and all, than has been 
gathered thence by all searchers in their varied lore. 
But, latterly, it has been realized, that, while the Bible 
is an Oriental book, written primarily for Orientals, 
and therefore to be understood only through an 


understanding of Oriental modes of thought and 
speech, it is also a record of God's revelation to the 
whole human race; hence its inspired pages are to 
receive illumination from all disclosures of the primi- 
tive characteristics and customs of that race, every- 
where. Not alone those who insist on the belief that 
there was a gradual development of the race from a 
barbarous beginning, but those also who believe that 
man started on a higher plane, and in his degrada- 
tion retained perverted vestiges of God's original reve- 
lation to him, are finding profit in the study of primi- 
tive myths, and of aboriginal religious rites and cere- 
monies, all the world over. Here, also, what has been 
already gained, is but an earnest of what will yet be 
compassed in the realm of truest biblical research. 


One of these primitive rites, which is deserving of 
more attention than it has yet received, as throwing 
light on many important phases of Bible teaching, is 
the rite of blood-covenanting: a form of mutual 
covenanting, by which two persons enter into the 
closest, the most enduring, and the most sacred of 
compacts, as friends and brothers, or as more than 
brothers, through the inter-commingling of their 
blood, by means of its mutual tasting, or of its inter- 


transfusion. This rite is still observed in the un- 
changing East; and there are historic traces of it, 
from time immemorial, in every quarter of the globe ; 
yet it has been strangely overlooked by biblical 
critics and biblical commentators generally, in these 
later centuries. 

In bringing this rite of the covenant of blood into 
new prominence, it may be well for me to tell of it as 
it was described to me by an intelligent native Syrian, 
who saw it consummated in a village at the base of 
the mountains of Lebanon; and then to add evidences 
of its wide-spread existence in the East and elsewhere, 
in earlier and in later times. 

It was two young men, who were to enter into this 
covenant. They had known each other, and had been 
intimate, for years; but now they were to become 
brother-friends, in the covenant of blood. Their rela- 
tives and neighbors were called together, in the open 
place* before the village fountain, to witness the sealing 
compact The young men publicly announced their 
purpose, and their reasons for it Their declarations 
were written down, in duplicate, one paper for each 
friend, and signed by themselves and by several wit- 
nesses. One of the friends took a sharp lancet, and 
opened a vein in the other's arm. Into the opening 
thus made, he inserted a quill, through which he 

sucked the living blood. The lancet-blade was care- 



fully wiped on one of the duplicate covenant-papers, 
and then it was taken by the other friend, who made 
a like incision in its first user's arm, and drank his 
blood through the quill, wiping the blade on the 
duplicate covenant-record. The two friends declared 
together : " We are brothers in a covenant made 
before God : who deceiveth the other, him will God 
deceive." Each blood-marked covenant-record was 
then folded carefully, to be sewed up in a small 
leathern case, or amulet, about an inch square ; to be 
worn thenceforward by one of the covenant-brothers, 
suspended about the neck, or bound upon the arm, in 
token of the indissoluble relation. 

The compact thus made, is called M 'aJiadat cd-Dam 
( | jJI StXAlft* ), the " Covenant of Blood." The two 
persons thus conjoined, are AkJnvat cl-M'ahadah 
( g<X#UJt *^t ), " Brothers of the Covenant." The 
rite itself is recognized, in Syria, as one of the very 
old customs of the land, as 'ddaJi qadccmch(p+*&3 S<>L^) 
" a primitive rite." There are many forms of cove* 
nanting in Syria, but this is the extremist and most 
sacred of them all. As it is the inter-commingling of 
very lives, nothing can transcend it. It forms a tie, 
or a union, which cannot be dissolved. In marriage, 
divorce is a possibility: not so in the covenant of 
blood. Although now comparatively rare, in view 
of its responsibilities and of its indissolublcncs.s, this 


covenant is sometimes entered into by confidential 
partners in business, or by fellow-travelers ; again, by 
robbers on the road who would themselves rest fear- 
lessly on its obligations, and who could be rested on 
within its limits, however untrustworthy they or their 
fellows might be in any other compact. Yet, again, it 
is the chosen compact of loving friends ; of those who 
are drawn to it only by mutual love and trust 

This covenant is commonly between two persons of 
the same religion Muhammadans, Druzes, or Naza- 
renes ; yet it has been known between two persons of 
different religions; 1 and in such a case it would be 
held as a closer tie than that of birth 2 or sect He 
who has entered into this compact with another, counts 
himself the possessor of a double life ; for his friend, 
whose blood he has shared, is ready to lay down his 
life with him, or for him. 3 Hence the leathern case, 
or Bayt hejdb (L-sLss^ OHV?)," House of the amulet," 4 

1 Of the possibility of a covenant between those of different leligions, 
Lane says (Arab.-Eng. Lexicon, s. v. *Ahd}\ "Hence <X$-^t> 
(dho *ahd), an appellation given to a Chiistian and a Jew (and a Sabean, 
who is a subject of a Muslim government), meaning one between whom 
and the Muslims a compact, or covenant, exists, whereby the latter aie 
ie&ponsible for his secunty and fieedom and toleration as long as he 
lives agieeably to the compact." And the Blood Covenant is more 
sacred and more binding than any othei compact 

2 Prov. 18:24, 3 John 15:13. 

* See Lane's Lex. s. v. " Hejab," 


containing the record of the covenant ('ttbdak, HtX^ ), 
is counted a proud badge of honor by one who 
possesses . it ; and he has an added sense of security, 
because he will not be alone when he falleth. 1 

I have received personal testimony from native 
Syrians, concerning the observance of this rite in 
Damascus, in Aleppo, in Hasbayya, in Abayh, along 
the road between Tyre and Sidon, and among the 
Koords resident in Salehayyah. All the Syrians who 
have been my informants, are at one concerning the 
traditional extreme antiquity of this rite, and its ex- 
ceptional force and sacredness. 

In view of the Oriental method of evidencing the 
closest possible affection and confidence by the suck- 
ing of the loved one's blood, there would seem to be 
more than a coincidence in the fact, that the Arabic 
words for friendship, for affection, for blood, and for 
leech, or blood-sucker, are but variations from a com- 
mon root 2 'Alaqa ( tJ^L^ ) means "to love," "to 
adhere," " to feed." 'Alaq ( ^jJU ), in the singular, 
means "love," "friendship," "attachment," "blood." 
As the plural of 'alaqa ( xilLfc ), 'alaq means " leeches," 
or " blood-suckers." The truest friend clings like a 
leech, and draws blood in order to the sharing thereby 
of his friend's life and nature. 

A native Syrian, who had traveled extensively in 

1 Eccl. 4: 9, 10. 2 See Freytag, and Calafago, s. v. 


the East, and who was familiar with the covenant of 
blood in its more common form, as already described, 
told me of a practice somewhat akin to it, whereby a 
bandit-chieftain would pledge his men to implicit and 
unqualified life-surrendering fidelity to himself; or, 
whereby a conspirator against the government would 
bind, in advance, to his plans, his fellow conspirators, 
by a ceremony known as Sharb el-ahd( <Xg*Jf ^ -& ), 
u Drinking the covenant." The methods of such cove- 
nanting are various ; but they are all of the nature of 
tests of obedience and of endurance. They some- 
times include licking a heated iron with the tongue, 
or gashing the tongue, or swallowing pounded glass or 
other dangerous potions; but, in all cases, the idea 
seems to be, that the life of the one covenanting is, by 
this covenant, devoted surrendered as it were to 
the one with whom he covenants; and the rite is 
uniformly accompanied with a solemn and an im- 
precatory appeal to God as witnessing and guarding 
the compact 

Dr. J. G. Wetzstein, a German scholar, diplomat, 
and traveler, who has given much study to the peoples 
east of the Jordan, makes reference to the binding 
force and the profound obligation of the covenants of 
brotherhood in that portion of the East; although 
he gives no description of the methods of the cove- 
nant-rite. Speaking of two Bed'ween Habbas and 


Hosayn who had been " broth ered" (pcrbrudcrt\ he 
explains by saying : " We must by this [term] under- 
stand the Covenant of Brotherhood (Ckuwwat el-Ahd 
[ <Xg*Jf S^*. ])/ which is in use to-day not only among 
the Hadari [the Villagers], but also among the 
Bed'ween ; and is indeed of pre-Muhammadan origin. 
The brother [in such a covenant] must guard the 
[other] brother from treachery, and [must] succor 
him in peril. So far as may be necessary, the one 
must provide for the wants of the other , and the sur- 
vivor has weighty obligations in behalf of the family 
of the one deceased." Then, as showing how com- 
pletely the idea of a common life in the lives of two 
friends thus covenanted if, indeed, they have become 
sharers of the same blood sways the Oriental mind, 
Wetzstein adds : " The marriage of a man and woman 
between whom this covenant exists, is held to be 

There are, indeed, various evidences that the tie of 
blood-covenanting is reckoned, in the East, even a closer 
tie than that of natural descent ; that a " friend " by this 
tie is nearer and is dearer, " sticketh closer," than a 
" brother " by birth. We, in the West, are accustomed 
to say that " blood is thicker than water " ; but the 
Arabs have the idea that blood is thicker than milk, 

1 See "Biotheis of the Covenant," p. 6, supra. 

2 Sprachliches aus den Zeltlageiii dcr synsthen Wiistt\ p. 37, 


than a mother's milk. With them, any two children 
nourished at the same breast are called " milk-broth- 
ers," 1 or "sucking brothers"; 2 and the tie between 
such is very strong. A boy and a girl in this relation 
cannot marry, even though by birth they had no family 
relationship. Among even the more bigoted of the 
Druzes, a Druze girl who is a " sucking sister " of a 
Nazarene boy is allowed a sister's privileges with him. 
He can see her uncovered face, even to the time of 
her marriage. But the Arabs hold that brothers in 
the covenant of blood are closer than brothers at a 
common breast; that those who have tasted each 
other's blood are in a surer covenant than those who 
have tasted the same milk together ; that " blood-lick- 
ers," 3 as the blood-brothers are sometimes called, are 
more truly one than " milk-brothers," or " sucking 
brothers " ; that, indeed, blood is thicker than milk, as 
well as thicker than water. 

This distinction it is which seems to be referred to 
in a citation from the Arabic poet El-A'asha, by the 
Arabic lexicographer Qamus, which has been a puz- 
zle to Lane, and Freytag, and others. 4 Lane's transla- 

1 See Redhouse's Turkish and English Dictionary, s. w. sood and soot. 
2 See Lane, and Freytag, s. w. rada 'a, and thady 

8 See lefeience to Ibn Hisham, 125, in Piof. W Robertson Smith's 
Old Test, in Jewish Church, Notes to Lect XII, See, also, p 59, infra. 

4 See Lane, and Freytag, s. v. sahama; also Smith's Old Test in 
Jewish Church, Notes to Lect. XII. 


tion of the passage is : " Two foster-brothers by the 
sucking of the breast of one mother, swore together 
by dark blood, into which they dipped their hands, 
that they should not ever become separated" In other 
words, two milk-brothers became blood-brothers by 
interlocking their hands under their own blood in the 
covenant of blood-friendship. They had been closely 
inter-linked before; now they were as one; for blood is 
thicker than milk. The oneness of nature which comes 
of sharing the same blood, by its inter-transfusion, is 
rightly deemed, by the Arabs, completer than the one- 
ness of nature which comes of sharing the same milk ; 
or even than that which comes through having blood 
from a common source, by natural descent. 


Travelers in the heart of Africa, also, report the 
covenant of "blood-brotherhood," or of " strong-friend- 
ship," as in vogue among various African tribes, al- 
though naturally retaining less of primitive sacredncss 
there than among Semites. The rite is, in some cases, 
observed after the manner of the Syrians, by the con- 
tracting parties tasting each other's blood ; while, in 
other cases, it is performed by the inter-transfusion of 
blood between the two. 

The first mention which I find of it, in the writings 
of modern travelers in Africa, is by the lamented hero- 


missionary, Dr. Livingstone. He calls the rite Kasendi. 
It was in the region of Lake Dilolo, at the watershed 
between the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic, in July, 
1854, that he made blood-friendship, vicariously, with 
Queen Manenko, of the Balonda tribes. 1 She was 
represented, in this ceremony, by her husband, the 
ebony " Prince Consort " ; while Livingstones repre- 
sentative was one of his Makololo attendants Wo- 
man's right to rule when she has the right seems to 
be as clearly recognized in Central Africa, to-day, as it 
was in Ethiopia in the days of Candace, or in Sheba 
in the days of Balkees. 

Describing the ceremony, Livingstone says : 2 "It is 
accomplished thus : The hands of the parties are 
joined (in this case Pitsane and Sambanza were the 
parties engaged). Small incisions are made on the 
clasped hands, on the pits of the stomach of each, 
and on the right cheeks and foreheads. A small 
quantity of blood is taken off from these points, in 
both parties, by means of a stalk of grass. The 
blood from one person is put into a pot of beer, 
and that of the second into another; each then 
drinks the other's blood, and they are supposed to 
become perpetual friends, or relations. During the 
drinking of the beer, some of the party continue beat- 

1 See Livingstone's Travels and Res. in So. Africa, pp. 290-296. 

,P. 525- 



ing the ground with short clubs, and utter sentences 
by way of ratifying the treaty. The men belonging 
to each [principal's party], then finish the beer. The 
principals in the performance of ' Kasendi ' are hence- 
forth considered blood-relations, and are bound to dis- 
close to each other any impending evil. If Sekeletu 
[chief of Pitsane's tribe the Makololo ] should re- 
solve to attack the Balonda [Sambanza's or, more 
properly, Manenko's people], Pitsane would be under 
obligation to give Sambanza warning to escape ; and so 
on the other side. [The ceremony concluded in this 
case] they now presented each other with the most 
valuable presents they had to bestow. Sambanza 
walked off with Pitsane's suit of green baize faced 
with red, which had been made in Loanda ; and Pit- 
sane, besides abundant supplies of food, obtained two 
shells [of as great value, in regions far from the sea, 
' as the Lord Mayor's badge is in London,'] similar to 
that [one, which] I had received from Shinte [the uncle 
of Manenko]." 1 

Of the binding force of this covenant, Livingstone 
says farther : " On one occasion I became blood-rela- 
tion to a young woman by accident She had a large 
cartilaginous tumor between the bones of the fore- 
arm, which, as it gradually enlarged, so distended the 
muscles as to render her unable to work. She ap- 

l See Livingstone's Travels and Res in So. Africa, j). 324 f. 


plied to me to excise it I requested her to bring her 
husband, if he were willing to have the operation per- 
formed ; and while removing the tumor, one of the 
small arteries squirted some blood into my eye. She 
remarked, when I was wiping the blood out of it, 
' You were a friend before ; now you are a blood-rela- 
tion ; and when you pass this way always send me word, 
that I may cook food for you.' " 1 

Of the influence of these inter-tribal blood-friend- 
ships, in Central Africa, Dr. Livingstone speaks most 
favorably. Their primitive character is made the 
more probable, in view of the fact that he first found 
them existing in a region where, in his opinion, the 
dress and household utensils of the people are identi- 
cal with those which are represented on the monu- 
ments of ancient Egypt. 2 Although it is within our 
own generation that this mode of covenanting in the 
region referred to has been made familiar to us, the 
rite itself is of old, elsewhere if not, indeed, there ; as 
other travelers following in the track of Livingstone 
have noted and reported. 

Commander Cameron, who, while in charge of the 
Livingstone Search Expedition, was the first European 
traveler to cross the whole breadth of the African 
continent in its central latitudes, gives several illustra- 

1 See Livingstone's Travels and Res. in So. Africa, p. 526. 
, p. 213. 


tions of the observance of this rite. In June, 1874, at 
the westward of Lake Tanganyika, Syde, a guide of 
Cameron, entered into this covenant of blood with 
Pakwanya; a local chief 

"After a certain amount of palaver," says Cameron, 
" Syde and Pakwanya exchanged presents, much to 
the advantage of the former [for, in the East, the 
person of higher rank is supposed to give the more 
costly gifts in any such exchange] ; more especially 
[in this case] as he [Syde] borrowed the beads of me 
and afterward forgot to repay me. Pakwanya then 
performed a tune on his harmonium, or whatever the 
instrument [which he had] might be called, and the 
business of fraternizing was proceeded with. Pak- 
wanya's head man acted as his sponsor, and one of my 
askari assumed the like office for Syde. 

" The first operation consisted of making an incision 
on each of their right wrists, just sufficient to draw 
blood ; a little of which was scraped off and smeared 
on the other's cut; after which gunpowder was rubbed 
in [thereby securing a permanent token on the arm]. 
The concluding part of the ceremony was performed 
by Pakwanya's sponsor holding a sword resting on 
his shoulder, while he who acted [as sponsor] for 
Syde went through the motions of sharpening a knife 
upon it. Both sponsors meanwhile made a speech, 
calling down imprecations on Pakwanya and all his 


relations, past, present, and future, and prayed that 
their graves might be defiled by pigs if he broke the 
brotherhood in word, thought, or deed. The same 
form having been gone through with, [with] respect 
to Syde, the sponsors changing duties, the brother- 
making was complete." 1 

Concerning the origin of this rite, in this region, 
Cameron says : " This custom of ' making brothers/ 
I believe to be really of Semitic origin, and to have 
been introduced into Africa by the heathen Arabs 
before the days of Mohammed; and this idea is 
strengthened by the fact that when the first traders 
from Zanzibar crossed the Tanganyika, the ceremony 
was unknown [so far as those traders knew] to the 
westward of that lake." 2 Cameron was, of course, 
unaware of the world-wide prevalence of this rite; 
but his suggestion that its particular form just here 
had a Semitic origin, receives support in a peculiar 
difference noted between the Asiatic and the African 

It will be remembered, that, among the Syrians, the 
blood of the covenant is taken into the mouth, and 
the record of the covenant is bound upon the arm. 
The Africans, not fully appreciating the force of a 
written record, are in the habit of reversing this order, 
according to Cameron's account Describing the rite 

1 Cameron's Across Africa, I ; 333. 2 Ifad.> I., 333 f - 



as observed between his men and the natives, on the 
Luama River, he says: "The brotherhood business 
having been completed [by putting the blood from 
one party on to the arm of the other], some pen and 
ink marks were made on a piece of paper, which, 
together with a charge of powder, was put into a 
kettleful of water. All hands then drank of the 
decoction, the natives being told that it was a very 
great medicine/' l That was " drinking the covenant " a 
with a vengeance ; nor is it difficult to see how this 
idea originated. 

The gallant and adventurous Henry M. Stanley 
also reports this rite of "blood-brotherhood," or of 
" strong friendship/' in the story of his romantic expe- 
riences in the wilds of Africa. On numerous occasions 
the observance of this rite was a means of protection 
and relief to Stanley. One of its more notable illus- 
trations was in his compact with " Mirambo, the warrior 
chief of Western Unyamwezi;" 3 whose leadership in 
warfare Stanley compares to that of both Frederick 
the Great 4 and Napoleon. 5 

It was during his first journey in pursuit of Living- 
stone, in 1 87 1, that Stanley first encountered the forces 
of Mirambo, and was worsted in the conflict. Writing 

1 Across Africa* I., 369, * See page 9, mpm. 

8 Through the Dark Continent, I., 107, 130 f. 4 //;/., L, 492. 

id.) I., 52, 492. 6 How f found Livingstone, pp 267-304, 


of him, after his second expedition, Stanley describes 
Mirambo, as "the 'Mars of Africa/ who since 1871 
has made his name feared by both native and foreigner 
from Usui to Urori, and from Uvinza to Ugogo, a 
country embracing 90,000 square miles; who, from 
the village chieftainship over Uyoweh, has made for 
himself a name as well known as that of Mtesa 
throughout the eastern half of Equatorial Africa; a 
household word from Nyangwe to Zanzibar, and the 
theme of many a song of the bards of Unyamwezi, 
Ukimbu, Ukonongo, Uzinja, and Uvinza." 1 For a 
time, during his second exploring expedition, Stanley 
was inclined to avoid Mirambo, but becoming " im- 
pressed with his ubiquitous powers," 2 he decided to 
meet him, and if possible make " strong friendship " 
with him. They came together, first, at Serombo, 
April 22, 1876. Mirambo "quite captivated" Stanley. 
" He was a thorough African gentleman in appearance. 
. A handsome, regular-featured, mild-voiced, 
soft-spoken man, with what one might call a ' meek ' 
demeanor ; very generous and open-handed ;" his eyes 
having "the steady, calm gaze of a master." 3 

The African hero and the heroic American agreed to 
" make strong friendship " with each other. Stanley 
thus describes the ceremony : " Manwa Sera [Stanley's 

1 1hro. Dark Cent., I., 489 f- 2 & ld ' L X 3- 

8 J&ttf., I., 487-492. 


1 chief captain '] was requested to seal our friendship 
by performing the ceremony of blood-brotherhood be- 
tween Mirambo and myself. Having caused us to sit 
fronting each other on a straw-carpet, he made an in- 
cision in each of our right legs, from which he extracted 
blood, and inter-changing it, he exclaimed aloud : * If 
either of you break this brotherhood now established 
between you, may the lion devour him, the serpent 
poison him, bitterness be in his food, his friends desert 
him, his gun burst in his hands and wound him, and 
everything that is bad do wrong to him until death.' " 1 
The same blood now flowed in the veins of both Stan- 
ley and Mirambo. They were friends and brothers in 
a sacred covenant ; life for life. At the conclusion of 
the covenant, they exchanged gifts ; as the customary 
ratification, or accompaniment, of the compact. They 
even vied with each other in proofs of their unselfish 
fidelity, in this new covenant of friendship,'- 

Again and again, before and after this incident, 
Stanley entered into the covenant of blood-brother- 
hood with representative Africans ; in some instances 
by the opening of his own veins ; at other times by 
allowing one of his personal escort to bleed for him. 
In January, 1875, a "great magic doctor of Vinyata" 
came to Stanley's tent to pay a friendly visit, " bring- 
ing with him a fine, fat ox as a peace offering." After 

1 Thro. Dark CM/., 1 , 493* 2 //'/</., I., 493 f. 


an exchange of gifts, says Stanley, "he entreated me to 
go through the process of blood-brotherhood, which 
I underwent with all the ceremonious gravity of a 
pagan." 1 

Three months later, in April, 1875, when Stanley 
found himself and his party in the treacherous toils 
of Shekka, the King of Bumbireh, he made several 
vain attempts to "induce Shekka, with gifts, to go 
through the process of blood-brotherhood." Stanley's 
second captain, Safeni, was the adroit, but unsuccessful, 
agent in the negotiations. " Go frankly and smilingly, 
Safeni, up to Shekka, on the top of that hill," said 
Stanley, " and offer him these three fundo of beads, 
and ask him to exchange blood with you." But the 
wily king was not to be dissuaded from his warlike 
purposes in that way. "Safeni returned. Shekka 
had refused the pledge of peace." z His desire was to 
take blood, if at all, without any exchange. 

After still another three months, in July, 1875, Stan- 
ley, at Refuge Island, reports better success in secur- 
ing peace and friendship through blood-giving and 
blood-receiving. "Through the influence of young 
Lukanjah the cousin of the King of Ukerewe " he 
says, " the natives of the mainland had been induced 
to exchange their churlish disposition for one of cordial 
welcome ; and the process of blood-brotherhood had 

1 Thro. Dark Cent., 1 , 123. z Ibid., I., 227-237. 


been formally gone through [with], between Manwa 
Sera, on my part, and Kijaju, King of Komeh, and the 
King of Itawagumba, on the other part." 1 

It was at "Kamptmzu, in the district of Uvinza, 
where dwell the true aborigines of the forest country," 
a people whom Stanley afterwards found to be 
cannibals that this rite was once more observed be- 
tween the explorers and the natives. " Blood-brother- 
hood being considered as a pledge of good-will and 
peace," says Stanley, " Frank Pocock [a young Eng- 
lishman who was an attendant of Stanley] and the 
chief [of Kampunzu] went through the ordeal ; and 
we interchanged presents " as is the custom in the 
observance of this rite. 2 

At the island of Mpika, on the Livingstone River, 
in December, 1876, there was another bright episode 
in Stanley's course of travel, through this mode of 
sealing friendship Disease had been making sad 
havoc in Stanley's party. He had been compelled to 
fight his way along through a region of cannibals. 
While he was halting for a breakfast on the river 
bank over against Mpika, an attack on him was pre- 
paring by the excited inhabitants of the island. Just 
then his scouts captured a native trading party of men 
and women who were returning to Mpika, from inland ; 
and to them his interpreters made clear his pacific 

1 Thro. Dark Cont., 1 , 268. * find ,11, 144-146. 


intentions. " By means of these people,'* he says, " we 
succeeded in checking the warlike demonstrations of 
the islanders, and in finally persuading them to make 
blood-brotherhood ; after which we invited canoes to 
come and receive [these hostages] their friends. As 
they hesitated to do so, we embarked them in our own 
boat, and conveyed them across to the island. The 
news then spread quickly along the whole length of 
the island that we were friends, and as we resumed 
our journey, crowds from the shore cried out to us, 
* Mwende Ki-vuke-vuke ' (' Go in peace ! ') " 1 

Once more it was at the conclusion of a bloody 
conflict, in the district of Vinya-Njara, just below 
Mpika Island, that peace was sealed by blood. When 
practical victory was on Stanley's side, at the cost of 
four of his men killed, and thirteen more of them 
wounded, then he sought this means of amity. " With 
the aid of our interpreters," he says, " we communi- 
cated our terms, viz , that we would occupy Vinya- 
Njara, and retain all the canoes unless they made 
peace. We also informed them that we had one 
prisoner, who would be surrendered to them if they 
availed themselves of our offer of peace : that we had 
suffered heavily, and they had also suffered ; that war 
was an evil which wise men avoided; that if they 
came with two canoes with their chiefs, two canoes 

1 Thro. Dark Cont., II , 177 f. 


with our chiefs should meet them in mid-stream, and 
make blood-brotherhood ; and that on that condition 
some of their canoes should be restored, and we would 
purchase the rest" The natives took time for the 
considering of this proposition, and then accepted it. 
" On the 22nd of December, the ceremony of blood- 
brotherhood having been formally concluded, in mid- 
river, between Safeni and the chief of Vinya-Njara," 
continues Stanley, " our captive, and fifteen canoes, were 
returned, and twenty-three canoes were retained by us 
for a satisfactory equivalent ; and thus our desperate 
struggle terminated." l 

On the Livingstone, just below the Equator, in 
February, 1877, Stanley's party was facing starvation, 
having been for some time " unable to purchase food, 
or indeed [to] approach a settlement for any amicable 
purpose." The explorers came to look at " each other 
as fated victims of protracted famine, or [of] the rage 
of savages, like those of Mangala." " We continued 
our journey/' goes on the record, " though grievously 
hungry, past Bwena and Inguba, doing our utmost to 
induce the staring fishermen to communicate with us; 
without any success. They became at once officiously 
busy with guns, and dangerously active. We arrived 
at Ikengo, and as we were almost despairing, we pro- 
ceeded to a small island opposite this settlement, and 

Dark Con f, IT, 1 88. 


prepared to encamp. Soon a canoe with seven men 
came dashing across, and we prepared our moneys for 
exhibition. They unhesitatingly advanced, and ran 
their canoe alongside of us. We were rapturously 
joyful, and returned them a most cordial welcome, as 
the act was a most auspicious sign of confidence. We 
were liberal, and the natives fearlessly accepted our 
presents ; and from this giving of gifts we proceeded 
to seal this incipient friendship with our blood, with all 
due ceremony." 1 And by tfris transfusion of blood 
the starving were re-vivified, and the despairing were 
given hope. 

Twice, again, within a few weeks after this experi- 
ence, there was a call on Stanley of blood for blood, 
in friendship's compact The people of Chumbiri wel- 
comed the travelers. "They readily subscribed to 
all the requirements of friendship, blood-brotherhood, 
and an exchange of a few small gifts." 2 Itsi, the king 
of Ntamo, with several of his elders and a showy 
escort, came out to meet Stanley ; and there was a 
friendly greeting on both sides. "They then broached 
the subject of blood-brotherhood. We were willing," 
says Stanley, " but they wished to defer the ceremony 
until they had first shown their friendly feelings to 
us." Thereupon gifts were exchanged, and the king 
indicated his preference for a " big goat " of Stanley's, 

1 Thro. Dark Conf., II , 305 f 2 /W., II , 3 I 5- 



as his benefaction. which, after some parleying, was 
transferred to him. Then came the covenant-rite. 
"The treaty with Itsi," says Stanley, "was exceed- 
ingly ceremonious, and involved the exchange of 
charms. Itsi transferred to me for my protection 
through life, a small gourdful of a curious powder, 
which had rather a saline taste ; and I delivered over 
to him, as the white man's charm against all evil, a 
half-ounce vial of magnesia; further, a small scratch 
in Frank's arm, and another in Itsi's arm, supplied 
blood sufficient to unite us in one, and [by an] indivisi- 
ble bond of fraternity." 1 

Four years after this experience of blood-covenant- 
ing, by proxy, with young Itsi, Stanley found himself 
again at Ntamo, or across the river from it ; this time 
in the interest of the International Association of the 
Congo. Being short of food, he had sent out a party 
of foragers, and was waiting their return with interest. 
" During the absence of the food-hunters," he says, 
"we heard the drums of Ntamo, and [we] followed 
with interested eyes the departure of two large ca- 
noes from the landing-place, their ascent to the place 
opposite, and their final crossing over towards us. 
Then we knew that Ngalycma of Ntamo had condes- 
cended to come and visit us. As soon as he arrived 
I recognized him as the Itsi with whom, in 1877, I 

1 Thro. Dark Cant., II., 330-332. 


had made blood-brotherhood [by proxy]. During 
the four years that had elapsed, he had become a 
great man. . . . He was now about thirty-four 
years old, of well-built form, proud in his bearing, 
covetous and grasping in disposition, and, like all 
other lawless barbarians, prone to be cruel and san- 
guinary whenever he might safely vent his evil humor. 
Superstition had found in him an apt and docile pupil, 
and fetishism held him as one of its most abject 
slaves. This was the man in whose hands the desti- 
nies of the Association Internationale du Congo were 
held, and upon whose graciousness depended our only 
hope of being able to effect a peaceful lodgment on 
the Upper Congo." A pagan African was an African 
pagan, even while the blood-brother of a European 
Christian. Yet, the tie of blood-covenanting was the 
strongest tie known in Central Africa. Frank Pocock, 
whose covenant-blood flowed in Itsi's veins, was 
dead ; * yet for his sake his master, Stanley, was wel- 
comed by Itsi as a brother; and in true Eastern 
fashion he was invited to prove anew his continuing 
faith by a fresh series of love-showing gifts. "My 
brother being the supreme lord of Ntamo, as well as 
the deepest-voiced and most arrogant rogue among 
the whole tribe," says Stanley, " first demanded the 
two asses [which Stanley had with him], then a large 

1 Thro. Dark Cont., II., 402-408. 


mirror, which was succeeded by a splendid gold-em- 
broidered coat, jewelry, glass clasps, long brass chains, 
a figured table-cloth, fifteen other pieces of fine cloth, 
and a japanned tin box with a * Chubb ' lock. Finally, 
gratified by such liberality, Ngalyema surrendered to 
me his sceptre, which consisted of a long staff, banded 
profusely with brass, and decorated with coils of brass 
wire, which was to be carried by me and shown to all 
men that I was the brother of Ngalyema [or, Itsi] of 
Ntamo ! " * Some time after this, when trouble arose 
between Stanley and Ngalyema, the former suggested 
that perhaps it would be better to cancel their brother- 
hood. " ' No, no, no,' cried Ngalyema, anxiously; ' our 
brotherhood cannot be broken ; our blood is now 
one/" Yet at this time Stanley's brotherhood with 
Ngalyema was only by the blood of his deceased 
retainer, Frank Pocock. 

More commonly, the rite of blood-friendship among 
the African tribes seems to be by the inter-transfusion 
of blood; but the ancient Syrian method is by no 
means unknown on that continent. Stanley tells of 
one crisis of hunger, among the cannibals of Rubunga, 
when the hostility of the natives on the river bank 
was averted by a shrewd display of proffered trinkets 
from the boats of the expedition. "We raised our 
anchor," he says, " and with two strokes of the oars 

1 The Congo, I., 304-312. 


had run our boat ashore , and, snatching a string or 
two of cowries [or shell-money], I sprang on land, 
followed by the coxswain Uledi, and in a second I had 
seized the skinny hand of the old chief, and was 
pressing it hard for joy. Warm-hearted Uledi, who 
the moment before was breathing furious hate of all 
savages, and of the procrastinating old chief in particu- 
lar, embraced him with a filial warmth. Young Saywa, 
and Murabo, and Shumari, prompt as tinder upon all 
occasions, grasped the lesser chiefs' hands, and devoted 
themselves with smiles and jovial frank bearing to 
conquer the last remnants of savage sullenness, and 
succeeded so well that, in an incredible short time, the 
blood-brotherhood ceremony between the suddenly 
formed friends was solemnly entered into, and the 
irrevocable pact of peace and good will had been 
accomplished." l 

Apparently unaware of the method of the ancient 
Semitic rite, here found in a degraded form, Stanley 
seems surprised at the mutual tasting of blood between 
the contracting friends, in this instance. He says : 
" Blood-brotherhood was a beastly cannibalistic cere- 
mony with these people, yet much sought after, 
whether for the satisfaction of their thirst for blood, or 
that it involved an interchange of gifts, of which they 
must needs reap the most benefit After an incision 
1 Thro. Dark Cont., II , 281-283. 


was made in each arm, both brothers bent their heads, 
and the aborigine was observed to suck with the greatest 
fervor ; whether for love of blood or excess of friend- 
ship, it would be difficult to say." 1 

During his latest visit to Africa, in the Congo region, 
Stanley had many another occasion to enter into the 
covenant of blood with native chiefs, or to rest on that 
covenant as before consummated. His every descrip- 
tion of the rite itself has its value, as illustrating the 
varying forms and the essential unity of the ceremony 
of blood-covenanting, the world over. 

A reference has already been made 2 to Stanley's 
meeting, on this expedition, with Ngalyema, who, 
under the name of Itsi, had entered into blood-broth- 
erhood with Frank Pocock, four years before. That 
brotherhood by proxy had several severe strains, in 
the progress of negotiations between Stanley and Ngal- 
yema; and after some eight months of these varying 
experiences, it was urgently pressed on Stanley by the 
chiefs of Kintamo (which is another name for Ntamo), 
that he should personally covenant by blood with 
Ngalyema, and so put an end to all danger of conflict 
between them. To this Stanley assented, and the 
record of the transaction is given accordingly, under 
date of April 9, 1882: "Brotherhood with Ngalye- 
ma was performed. We crossed arms; an incision 

1 Thro Dark Cont., II , 286. ' 2 See pages 26-3*S, supra. 


was made in each arm ; some salt was placed on the 
wound, and then a mutual rubbing took place, while 
the great fetish man of Kintamo pronounced an incon- 
ceivable number of curses on my head if ever I proved 
false. Susi [Livingstone's head man, now with Stan- 
ley], not to be outdone by him, solicited the gods to 
visit unheard-of atrocious vengeances on Ngalyema if 
he dared to make the slightest breach in the sacred 
brotherhood which made him and Bula Matari 1 one 
and indivisible for ever." 2 

In June, 1883, Stanley visited, by invitation, Man- 
gombo, the chief of Irebu, on the Upper Congo, and 
became his blood-brother. Describing his landing at 
this "Venice of the Congo," he says: "Mangombo, 
with a curious long staff, a fathom and a half in length, 
having a small spade of brass at one end, much resem- 
bling a baker's cake-spade, stood in front. He was a 
man probably sixty years old, but active and by no 
means aged-looking, and he waited to greet me. 
. . . Generally the first day of acquaintance with 
the Congo river tribes is devoted to chatting, sound- 
ing one another's principles, and getting at one an- 
other's ideas. The chief entertains his guest with gifts 
of food, goats, beer, fish, &c. ; then, on the next day, 

x "Bula Mataxi," or "Rock Bleaker," oi 1 Road Maker, was a name 
given to Stanley by the natives. 

*The Congo, L, 383-385. 


commences business and reciprocal exchange of gifts. 
So it was at Irebu. Mangombo gave four hairy thin- 
tailed sheep, ten glorious bunches of bananas, two 
great pots of beer, and the usual accompaniments of 
small stores. The next day we made blood-brother- 
hood. The fetish-man pricked each of our right arms, 
pressed the blood out ; then, with a pinch of scrapings 
from my gun stock, a little salt, a few dusty scrapings 
from a long pod, dropped over the wounded arms, 
. . . the black and white arms were mutually rubbed 
together [for the inter-transfusion of the flowing 
blood]. The fetish-man took the long pod in his 
hand, and slightly touched our necks, our heads, our 
arms, and our legs, muttering rapidly his litany of 
incantations. What was left of the medicine Man- 
gombo and I carefully folded in a banana leaf [Was 
this the ' house of the amulet ? ' 1 ], and we bore it 
reverently between us to a banana grove close by, and 
buried the dust out of sight. Mangombo, now my 
brother, by solemn interchange of blood, consecrated 
to my service, as I was devoted in the sacred fetish 
bond to his service, revealed his trouble, and im- 
plored my aid/' z 

Yet again, Stanley "made friendship" with th 
Bakuti, at Wangata, "after the customary forms of 
blood-brotherhood " ; 3 similarly with two chiefs, luka 

^ee page 7 f., supra. z The Congo, II., 21-24. 3 /&</., II., 38. 


and Mungawa, at Lukolela ; 1 with Miyongo of Usin- 
di ; 2 and with the chiefs of Bolombo ; 3 of Yambinga, 4 
of Mokulu, 5 of Irungu, 6 of Upoto/ of Uranga ; 8 and 
so all along his course of travel. One of the fullest 
and most picturesque of his descriptions of this 
rite, is in connection with its observance with a son 
of the great chief of the Bangala, at Iboko ; and the 
main details of that description are worthy of repro- 
duction here. 

The Bangala, or " the Ashantees of the Livingstone 
River," as Stanley characterizes them, are a strong 
and a superior people, and they fought fiercely against 
Stanley, when he was passing their country in iS//. 9 
" The senior chief, Mata Bwyki (lord of many guns), 
was [now, in October, 1883,] an old grey-haired man, 5 ' 
says Stanley, " of Herculean stature and breadth of 
shoulder, with a large square face, and an altogether 
massive head, out of which his solitary eye seemed to 
glare with penetrative power. I should judge him to 
be six feet, two inches, in height He had a strong, 
sonorous voice, which, when lifted to speak to his 
tribe, was heard clearly several hundred yards off 
He was now probably between seventy-five and eighty 

i The Congo, IL, 48. JW/., IL, 68. ' * Ibid., IL, 79. 

* Ibid., IL, 109. 5 Ibid., IL, 118. * Ibid., II., 132. 

d., IL, 171- *Ibzd, IL, 177. 

9 Thro. Dark Cont. 9 IL, 297-302. 


years old. ... He was not the tallest man, nor 
the best looking, nor the sweetest-dispositioned man, I 
had met in all Africa; but if the completeness and 
perfection of the human figure, combining size with 
strength, and proportion of body, limbs, and head, 
with an expression of power in the face, be considered, 
he must have been at one time the grandest type of 
physical manhood to be found in Equatorial Africa. 
As he stood before us on this day, we thought of him 
as an ancient Milo, an aged Hercules, an old Samson 
a really grand looking old man. At his side were seven 
tall sons, by different mothers, and although they were 
stalwart men and boys, the whitened crown of Mata 
Bwykf s head rose by a couple of inches above the 
highest head." 

Nearly two thousand persons assembled, at Iboko, 
to witness the " palaver " that must precede a decision 
to enter into " strong friendship." At the place of 
meeting, " mats of split rattan were spread in a large 
semicircle around a row of curved and box stools, for 
the principal chiefs. In the centre of the line, opposite 
this, was left a space for myself and people," continues 
Stanley. "We had first to undergo the process of 
steady and silent examination from nearly two thous- 
and pairs of eyes. Then, after Yumbila, the guide, had 
detailed in his own manner, who we were, and what was 
our mission up the great river ; how we had built towns 


at many places, and made blood-brotherhood with the 
chiefs of great districts, such as Irebu, Ukuti, Usindi, 
Ngombe, Lukolela, Bolobo, Mswata, and Kintamo, he 
urged upon them the pleasure it would be to me to 
make a like compact, sealed with blood, with the great 
chiefs of populous Iboko. He pictured the benefits 
likely to accrue to Iboko, and Mata Bwyki in particu- 
lar, if a bond of brotherhood was made between two 
chiefs like Mata Bwyki and Tandelay, [Stanley,] or as 
he was known, Bula Matari." 

There was no prompt response to Stanley's request 
for strong friendship with the Bangala. There were 
prejudices to be removed, and old memories to be 
overborne ; and Yumbila's eloquence and tact were 
put to their severest test, in the endeavor to bring 
about a state of feeling that would make the covenant 
of blood a possibility here. But the triumph was won. 
"A forked palm branch was brought," says Stanley. 
" Kokoro, the heir [of Mata Bwyki], came forward, 
seized it, and kneeled before me ; as, drawing out his 
short falchion, he cried, ' Hold the other branch, Bula 
Matari P I obeyed him, and lifting his hand he cleaved 
the branch in two. ' Thus,' he said, ' I declare my 
wish to be your brother.' 

" Then a fetish-man came forward with his lancets, 
long pod, pinch of salt, and fresh green banana leaf. 
He held the staff of Kokoro 's sword-bladed spear, 


while one of my rifles was brought from the steamer. 
The shaft of the spear and the stock of the rifle were 
then scraped on the leaf, a pinch of salt was dropped 
on the wood, and finally a little dust from the long 
pod was scraped on the curious mixture. Then, our 
arms were crossed, the white arm over the brown 
arm, and an incision was made in each ; and over the 
blood was dropped a few grains of the dusty com- 
pound ; and the white arm was rubbed over the brown 
arm [in the intermingling of blood]." 

" Now Mata Bwyki lifted his mighty form, and with 
his long giant's staff drove back the compressed 
crowd, clearing a wide circle, and then roaring out in 
his most magnificent style, leonine in its lung-force, 
kingly in its effect : ' People of Iboko ! You by the 
river side, and you of inland. Men of the Bangala, 
listen to the words of Mata Bwyki. You sec Tandc- 
lay before you. His other name is Bula Matari, He 
is the man with the many canoes, and has brought 
back strange smoke-boats. He has come to see Mata 
Bwyki. He has asked Mata Bwyki to be his friend. 
Mata Bwyki has taken him by the hand, and has be- 
come his blood-brother. Tandelay belongs to Iboko 
now. He has become this day one of the Bangala. 
O, Iboko ! listen to the voice of Mata Bwyki.' (I 
thought they must have been incurably deaf, not to 
have heard that voice). 'Bula Matari and Mata Bwyki 


are one to-day. We have joined hands. Hurt not 
Bula Matari's people; steal not from them; offend 
them not Bring food and sell to him at a fair price, 
gently, kindly, and in peace ; for he is my brother. 
Hear you, ye people of Iboko you by the river 
side, and you of the interior ?' 

" ' We hear, Mata Bwyki 1 ' shouted the multitude." 1 
And the ceremony was ended. 

A little later than this, Stanley, or Tandelay, or 
Bula Matari, as the natives called him, was at Bumba, 
and there again he exchanged blood in friendship. 
" Myombi, the chief," he says, " was easily persuaded 
by Yumbila to make blood-brotherhood with me ; and 
for the fiftieth time my poor arm was scarified, and 
my blood shed for the cause of civilization. Probably 
one thousand people of both sexes looked on the 
scene, wonderingly and strangely. A young branch 
of a palm was cut, twisted, and a knot tied at each 
end ; the knots were dipped in wood ashes, and then 
seized and held by each of us, while the medicine- 
man practised his blood-letting art, and lanced us both, 
until Myombi winced with pain; after which the 
knotted branch was severed ; and, in some incompre- 
hensible manner, I had become united forever to my 
fiftieth brother ; to whom I was under the obligation 
of defending [him] against all foes until death." 2 

1 The Congo, II., 79-90. * Ibid., II., 104 f. 



The blood of a fair proportion of all the first fami- 
lies of Equatorial Africa now courses in Stanley's 
veins ; and if ever there was an American citizen who 
could appropriate to himself pre-eminently the national 
motto, "E pluribus unum," Stanley is the man. 

The root-idea of this rite of blood-friendship seems 
to include the belief, that the blood is the life of a 
living being ; not merely that the blood is essential to 
life, but that, in a peculiar sense, it is life ; that it 
actually vivifies by its presence ; and that by its pass- 
ing from one organism to another it carries and 
imparts life. The inter-commingling of the blood of 
two organisms is, therefore, according to this view, 
equivalent to the inter-commingling of the lives, of the 
personalities, of the natures, thus brought together; 
so that there is, thereby and thenceforward, one life in 
the two bodies, a common life between the two friends : 
a thought which Aristotle recognizes in his citation of 
the ancient " proverb " : " One soul [in two bodies]/' L 
a proverb which has not lost its currency in any of the 

That the blood can retain its vivifying power whether 
passing into another by way of the lips or by way of the 
veins, is, on the face of it, no less plausible, than that 

1 Aristotle's Ethics, IX., 8, 3. This is, not made as an original state- 
ment, by Aiistotle, but at, the citation of one of the well-known 
" proveibs " of friendship. 


the administering of stimulants, tonics, nutriments, 
nervines, or anaesthetics, hypodermically, may be 
equally potent, in certain cases, with the more common 
and normal method of seeking assimilation by the 
process of digestion. That the blood of the living has 
a peculiar vivifying force, in its transference from one 
organism to another, is one of the clearly proven re-dis- 
closures of modern medical science ; and this transfer- 
ence of blood has been made to advantage by way of 
the veins, of the stomach, of the intestines, of the tissue, 
and even of the lungs through dry-spraying. 1 


Different methods of observing this primitive rite 
of blood-covenanting are indicated in the legendary 
lore of the Norseland peoples ; and these methods, in 
all their variety, give added proof of the ever under- 
lying idea of an inter-commingling of lives through 
an inter-commingling of blood. Odin was the benefi- 
cent god of light and knowledge, the promoter of 
heroism, and the protector of sacred covenants, in the 
mythology of the North. Loke, or Lok, on the other 
hand, was the discordant and corrupting divinity; 

1 See Nouveau Dictionnaire de Mldecme et de Ckirurgie Pratiques, 
(ed. 1884) s. v. "Transfusion." 2 See Appendix, infra. 


symbolizing, in his personality, "sin, shrewdness, 
deceitfulness, treachery, malice," and other phases of 
evil. 1 In the poetic myths of the Norseland, it is 
claimed that at the beginning Odin and Loke were in 
close union instead of being at variance; 2 just as the 
Egyptian cosmogony made Osiris and Set in original 
accord, although in subsequent hostility; 3 and as the 
Zoroastrians claimed that Ormuzd and Ahriman were 
at one, before they were in conflict.* Odin and Loke 
are, indeed, said to have been, at one time, in the close 
and sacred union of blood-friendship ; having coven- 
anted in that union by mingling their blood in a bowl, 
and drinking therefrom together. 

The Elder Edda, 5 or the earliest collection of Scan- 
dinavian songs, makes reference to this confraternity of 
Odin and Loke. At a banquet of the gods, Loke, 
who had not been invited, found an entrance, and 
there reproached his fellow divinities for their hostility 
to him. Recalling the indissoluble tie of blood-friend- 
ship, he said : 

1 See Carlyle's Heroes and Hero- Worship, Lect, I. ; also Anderson's 
Norse Mythology ^ pp 215-220; 371-374. 

8 See Anderson's Norse MythoL, pp. 372, 408 f. 

8 See Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians, III., 142 , Renouf '& The Religion 
of Ancient Egypt, p. 118 f.; Ebcis's Picfuresgtte Egypt, I., 100 f, 

* See De Wctte's Biblische Dogmatik, \ 79, 

fi See Cailyle's Hero Worship, Lect. I. 


" Father of Slaughter, 1 Odin, say, 
Rememberest not the former day, 
When ruddy m the goblet stood, 
For mutual drink, our blended blood? 
Rememberest not, thou then didst swear, 
The festive banquet ne'er to share, 
Unless thy brother Lok was there ?J> 

In citing this illustration of the ancient rite, a 
modern historian of chivalry has said : " Among bar- 
barous people [the barbarians of Europe] the fraternity 
of arms [the sacred brotherhood of heroes] was estab- 
lished by the horrid custom of the new brothers drink- 
ing each other's blood; but if this practice was barba- 
rous, nothing was farther from barbarism than the 
sentiment which inspired it." 2 

Another of the methods by which the rite of blood- 
friendship was observed in the Norseland, was by 
causing the blood of the two covenanting persons to 
inter-flow from their pierced hands, while they lay 
together underneath a lifted sod. The idea involved 
seems to have been, the burial of the two individuals, 
in their separate personal lives, and the intermingling 
of those lives by the intermingling of their blood 
while in their temporary grave; in order to their 

1 Odin " is the author of war." He is called " Valfather (Father of the 
slain), because he chooses for his sons all who fall in combat " Ander- 
son's Norse AfytkoZ , p 215 f. 

2 Mills's History of Chivalry, chap IV. 


rising again with a common life 1 one life, one soul, in 
two bodies. Thus it is told, in one of the Icelandic 
Sagas, of Thorstein, the heroic son of Viking, proffer- 
ing " foster-brotherhood," or blood-friendship, to the 
valiant Angantyr, Jarl of the Orkneys. " Then this 
was resolved upon, and secured by firm pledges on 
both sides. They opened a vein in the hollow of their 
hands, crept beneath the sod, and there [with clasped 
hands inter-blood-flowing] they solemnly swore that 
each of them should avenge the other if any one 
of them should be slain by weapons." This was, in 
fact, a three-fold covenant of blood ; for King Bele, 
who had just been in combat with Angantyr, was 
already in blood-friendship with Thorstein. 2 

The rite of blood-friendship, in one form andanothcr, 
finds frequent mention in the Norseland Sagas. Thus, in 
the Saga of Fridthjof the Bold, the son of Thorstein : 

" Champions twelve, too, had he giay-haiied, and princes in exploits, 
Comrades his father had loved, steel-breasted and scaned o'ci the 


Last on the champions' bench, equal-aged with Fndthjof, a .stapling 
Sat, like a rose among withered leaves; Bjoin called they the hcio 
Glad as a child, but firm like a man, and yet wise as a giaybenid ; 
Up with Fndthjof he'cl grown ; they had mingled blood \vilh each othci, 
Foster-brothers in Noithman wise, and they swore to continue 
Steadfast in weal and woe, each other ic vengmg in battle " 8 

1 Rom, 6 : 4-6 ; Col. 2 : 12 
2 Andeison's Viking Talc* of the North , p. 59, ////</., p, 191 f. 


A vestige of this primitive rite, coming down to us 
through European channels, is found, as are so many 
other traces of primitive rites, in the inherited folk-lore 
of English-speaking children on both sides of the At- 
lantic. An American clergyman's wife said recently, 
on this point: "I remember, that while I was a school- 
girl, it was the custom, when one of our companions 
pricked her finger, so that the blood came, for one or 
another of us to say ' Oh, let me suck the blood ; then 
we shall be friends.' " And that is but an illustration 
of the outreaching after this indissoluble bond, on the 
part of thirty generations of children of Norseland and 
Anglo-Saxon stock, since the days of Fridthjof and 
Bjorn ; as that same yearning had been felt by those 
of a hundred generations before that time. 


Concerning traces of the rite of blood-covenanting in 
China, where there are to be found fewest resemblances 
to the primitive customs of the Asiatic Semites, Dr. 
Yung Wing, the eminent Chinese educationalist and 
diplomat, gives me the following illustration : " In the 
year 1674, when K&nhi was Emperor, of the present 
dynasty, we find that the Buddhist priests of Shanlin 
Monastery in Fuhkin Province had rebelled against 
the authorities on account of persecution. In their 
encounters with the troops, they fought against great 


'odds, and were finally defeated and scattered in differ- 
ent provinces, where they organized centres of the 
Triad Society, which claims an antiquity dated as far 
back as the Freemasons of the West. Five of these 
priests fled to the province of Hakwong, and there, 
Chin Kinnan, a member of the Hanlin College, who 
was degraded from office by his enemies, joined them; 
and it is said that they drank blood, and took the 
oath of brotherhood, to stand by each other in life 
or death." 

Along the southwestern border of the Chinese Em- 
pire, in Burmah, this rite of blood-friendship is still 
practiced; as may be seen from illustrations of it, which 
are given in the Appendix of this work. 

In his History of Madagascar, the Rev. William 
Ellis, tells of this rite as he observed it in that island, 
and as he learned of it from Borneo. He says : 

"Another popular engagement in use among the Ma- 
lagasy is that of forming brotherhoods, which though 
not peculiar to them, is one of the most remarkable 
usages of the country. . . . Its object is to cement 
two individuals in the bonds of most sacred friend- 
ship. . . . More than two may thus associate, if 
they please ; but the practice is usually limited to that 
number, and rarely embraces more than three or four 
individuals. It is called fatridd, i. c\, ' dead blood/ 
either because the oath is taken over the blood of a 


fowl killed for the occasion, or because a small portion 
of blood is drawn from each individual, when thus 
pledging friendship, and drunk by those to whom 
friendship is pledged, with execrations of vengeance 
on each other in case of violating the sacred oath. 
To obtain the blood, a slight incision is made in the 
skin covering the centre of the bosom, significantly 
called ambavafo, ' the mouth of the heart/ Allusion 
is made to this, in the formula of this tragi-comical 

" When two or more persons have agreed on form- 
ing this bond of fraternity, a suitable place and hour 
are determined upon, and some gunpowder and a ball 
are brought, together with a small quantity of ginger, 
a spear, and two particular kinds of grass. A fowl also 
is procured ; its head is nearly cut off; and it is left in 
this state to continue bleeding during the ceremony. 1 

" The parties then pronounce a long form of im- 
precation, and [a] mutual vow, to this effect: 'Should 
either of us prove disloyal to the sovereign, or un- 
faithful to each other, 2 then perish the day, and perish 

1 Apparently these articles form a "heap of witness," or are the aggre- 
gated symbolic witnesses of the transaction ; as something answering to 
this usage is found in connection with the nte in various parts of the 

2 He who would be true in friendship must be true in all things. The 
good friend is a good citizen. See I Peter 2: 17. 


the night. 1 Awful is that, solemn is that, which we are 
now both about to perform ! O the mouth of the heart ! 
this is to be cut, and we shall drink each other's 
blood. O this ball ! O this powder ! O this ginger f 
O this fowl weltering in its blood ! it shall be killed, 
it shall be put to excruciating agonies, it shall be 
killed by us, it shall be speared at this corner of the 
hearth (Alakaforo or Adimizam, S. W.) And who- 
ever would seek to kill or injure us, to injure our 
wives, or our children, to waste our money or our 
property ; or if either of us should seek to do what 
would not be approved of by the king or by the 
people ; should one of us deceive the other by making 
that which is unjust appear just; should one accuse 
the other falsely ; should either of us with our wives 
and children be lost and reduced to slavery, (forbid 
that such should be our lot !) then, that good may 
arise out of evil, we follow this custom of the people ; 
and we do it for the purpose of assisting one another 
with our families, if lost in slavery, by whatever prop- 
erty either of us may possess ; for our wives are as one 
to us, and each other's children as his own, 3 and our 
riches as common property. O the mouth of the heart! 
O the ball ! O the powder ! O the ginger ! O this 
miserable fowl weltering in its blood ! thy liver do we 

1 See Job 3 : 2-9. 
*IIere is the idea of an absolute intci-meiging of natiucs, by this rite. 


eat, thy liver do we eat. And should either of us 
retract from the terms of this oath, let him instantly 
become a fool, let him instantly become blind, let this 
covenant prove a curse to him: let him not be a 
human being: let there be no heir to inherit after him, 
but let him be reduced, and float with the water never to 
see its source ; let him never obtain ; what is out of 
doors, may it never enter ; and what is within may it 
never go out ; the little obtained, may he be deprived 
of it; 1 and let him never obtain justice from the sove- 
reign nor from the people ! But if we keep and observe 
this covenant, let these things bear witness. 2 O mouth 
of the heart ! (repeating as before), may this cause us 
to live long and happy with our wives and our chil- 
dren ; may we be approved by the sovereign, and 
beloved by the people ; may we get money, may we 
obtain property, cattle, &c. ; may we marry wives, 
(vady kely) ; may we have good robes, and wear a 
good piece of cloth on our bodies ; 3 since, amidst our 
toils and labor, these are the things we seek after. 4 
And this we do that we may with all fidelity assist 
each other to the last/ 

Matt. 13 : 12; 25: 29. 

2 Here is an indication of the witness-bearing nature of these acces- 
sones of the nte. 

3 Compare these blessings and cursings with those under the Mosaic 
laws: Deut. 27: 9-26; 28: I-6S. 

* See Matt 6: 31, 32. 


" The incision is then made, as already mentioned ; 
a small quantity of blood [is] extracted and drank by 
the covenanting parties respectively, [they] saying as. 
they take it, 'These are our last words, We will 
be like rice and water; 1 in town they do not separate, 
and in the fields they do not forsake one another ; we 
will be as the right and left hand of the body ; if one 
be injured, the other necessarily sympathizes and 
suffers with it." 2 

Speaking of the terms and the influence of this cove- 
nant, in Madagascar, Mr. Ellis says, that while absolute 
community of all worldly possessions is not a literal 
fact on the part of these blood-friends, " the engage- 
ment involves a sort of moral obligation for one to 
assist the other in every extremity," " However devoid 
of meaning," he adds, " some part of the ceremony of 
forming [this] brotherhood may appear, and whatever 
indications of barbarity of feeling may appear in others, 
it is less exceptionable than many [of the rites] that 
prevail among the people. ... So far as those 
who have resided in the country have observed its 
effects, they appear almost invariably to have been safe 

1<c This is a natuial, simple, and beautiful allusion in common use 
among the Malagasy, to denote an insepaiable association. The lice is 
planted in water, grows in water, is boiled in watei, and water is the 
univeisal beveiage taken with it when eaten," 

2 Ellis's Hist, of Madagascar^ I., 187-190. 


to the community, and beneficial to the individuals by 
whom the compact was formed." 

Yet again, this covenant of blood-friendship is found 
in different parts of Borneo. In the days of Mr. Ellis, 
the Rev. W. Medhurst, a missionary of the London 
Missionary Society, in Java, described it, in reporting 
a visit made to the Dayaks of Borneo, by one of his 
assistants, together with a missionary of the Rhenish 
Missionary Society. 1 

Telling of the kindly greeting given to these visitors 
at a place called Golong, he says that the natives 
wished "to establish a fraternal agreement with the 
missionaries, on condition that the latter should teach 
them the ways of God. The travelers replied, that if 
the Dayaks became the disciples of Christ, they would 
be constituted the brethren of Christ without any 
formal compact. The Dayaks, however, insisted that 
the travelers should enter into a compact [with them], 
according to the custom of the country, by means of 
blood. The missionaries were startled at this, think- 
ing that the Dayaks meant to murder them, and com- 
mitted themselves to their Heavenly Father, praying 
that, whether living or dying, they might lie at the 
Teet of their Saviour. It appears, however, that it is 
the custom of the Dayaks, when they enter into a 
covenant, to draw a little blood from the arms of the 

1 Cited in Ellis's Hist, of Mad., 1 , 191, note. 


covenanting parties, and, having mixed it with water, 
each to drink, in this way, the blood of the other. 

" Mr. Earenstein [one of the missionaries] having 
consented [for both] to the ceremony, they all took off 
their coats, and two officers came forward with small 
knives, to take a little blood out of the arm of each 
of them [the two missionaries and two Dayak chiefs]. 
This being mixed together in four glasses of water, 
they drank, severally, each from the glass of the other; 
after which they joined hands and kissed. The peo- 
ple then came forward, and made obeisance to the 
missionaries, as the friends of the Dayak King, crying 
out with loud voices, ' Let us be friends and brethren 
forever ; and may God help the Dayaks to obtain the 
knowledge of God from the missionaries ! ' The two 
chiefs then said, ' Brethren, be not afraid to dwell with 
us ; for we will do you no harm ; and if others wish 
to hurt you, we will defend you with our life's blood, 
and die ourselves ere you be slain. God be witness, 
and this whole assembly be witness, that this is true/ 
Whereupon the whole company shouted, Balaak ! or 
' Good/ ' Be it so.' " 

Yet another method of observing this rite, is re- 
ported from among the Kayans of Borneo quite a 
different people from the Dayaks. Its description is 
from the narrative of Mr. Spenser St. John, as follows : 


me to become his brother, by going through the 
sacred custom of imbibing each other's blood. I say 
imbibing, because it is either mixed with water and 
drunk, or else is placed within a native cigar, and 
drawn in with the smoke. I agreed to do so, and the 
following day was fixed for the ceremony. It is called 
Bcrbiang by the Kayans ; Bersabibah, by the Borneans 
[the Dayaks]. I landed with our party of Malays, and 
after a preliminary talk, to allow the population to 
assemble, the affair commenced. . . . Stripping 
my left arm, Kum Lia took a small piece of wood, 
shaped like a knife-blade, and, slightly piercing the 
skin, brought blood to the surface ; this he carefully 
scraped off. Then one of my Malays drew blood in 
the same way from Singauding; and, a small cigarette 
being produced, the blood on the wooden blade was 
spread on the tobacco. A chief then arose, and, walk- 
ing to an open place, looked forth upon the river, and 
invoked their god and all the spirits of good and evil to 
be witness of this tie of brotherhood. The cigarette 
[blood-stained] was then lighted, and each of us took 
several puffs [receiving each other's blood by inhalation] , 
and the ceremony was over." * This is a new method of 
smoking the "pipe of peace" or, the cigarette of inter- 
union ! Borneo, indeed, furnishes many illustrations 
of primitive customs, both social and religious. 

1 St. John's Life in the Forests of the Far Bast, I., 116 f. 


One of the latest and most venturesome explorers 
of North Borneo was the gallant and lamented Frank 
Hatton, a son of the widely known International jour- 
nalist, Joseph Hatton. In a sketch of his son's life- 
work, the father says 1 : " His was the first white foot 
in many of the hitherto unknown villages of Borneo ; 
in him many of the wild tribes saw the first white man. 
. . . Speaking the language of the natives, and possess- 
ing that special faculty of kindly firmness so necessary 
to the efficient control of uncivilized peoples, he jour- 
neyed through the strange land not only unmolested, 
but frequently carrying away tokens of native affec- 
tion. Several powerful chiefs made him their ' blood- 
brother'; and here and there the tribes prayed to him 
as if he were a god." It would seem from the descrip- 
tion of Mr. Hatton, that, in some instances, in Borneo, 
the blood-covenanting is by the substitute blood of a 
fowl held by the two parties to the covenant, while its 
head is cut off by a third person without any drink- 
ing of each other's blood by those who enter into the 
covenant. Yet, however this may be, the other method 
still prevails there. 

Another recent traveler in the Malay Archipelago, 

who, also, is a trained and careful observer, tells of this 

rite, as he found it in Timor, and other islands of that 

region, among a people who represent the Malays, 

l ln "The Century Magazine " feu July, 1885, p 437. 


the Papuan, and the Polynesian races. His descrip- 
tion is : " The ceremony of blood-brotherhood, . . . 
or the swearing of eternal friendship, is of an interest- 
ing nature, and is celebrated often by fearful orgies 
[excesses of the communion idea], especially when 
friendship is being made between families, or tribes, or 
kingdoms. The ceremony is the same in substance 
whether between two individuals, or [between] large 
companies. The contracting parties slash their arms, 
and collect the blood into a bamboo, into which kanipa 
(coarse gin) or lam (palm wine) is poured Having 
provided themselves with a small fig-tree (JialiK) they 
adjourn to some retired spot, taking with them the 
sword and spear from the Lull chamber [the sacred 
room] of their own houses if between private individ- 
uals, or from the Uma-Luli of their suku [the sacred 
building of their village] if between large companies. 
Planting there the fig-tree, flanked by the sacred sword 
and spear, they hang on it a bamboo-receptacle, into 
which after pledging each other in a portion of the 
mixed blood and gin the remainder [of that mixture] 
is poured. Then each swears, ' If I be false, and be not 
a true friend, may my blood issue from my mouth, ears, 
nose, as it does from this bamboo ! ' the bottom of the 
receptacle being pricked at the same moment, to allow 
the blood and gin to escape. The [blood-stained] tree 
remains and grows as a witness of their contract" 


Of the close and binding nature of this blood-com- 
pact, among the Timorese, the observer goes on to say : 
" It is one of their most sacred oaths, and [is] almost 
never, I am told, violated ; at least between individuals." 
As to its limitless force and scope, he adds : " One 
brother [one of these brother-friends in the covenant 
of blood] coming to another brother's house, is in 
every respect regarded as free [to do as he pleases], 
and [is] as much at home as its owner. Nothing is 
withheld from him ; even his friend's wife is not denied 
him, and a child born of such a union would be recog- 
nized by the husband as his ; [for are not as they 
reason these brother-friends of one blood of one and 
the same life ?] " x 

The covenant of blood-friendship has been noted 
also among the native races of both North and South 
America. A writer of three centuries ago, told of it 
as among the aborigines of Yucatan. " When the In- 
dians of Pontonchan," he said, "receive new friends 
[covenant in a new friendship]. . . as a proof of 
[their] friendship, they [mutually, each], in the sight of 
the friend, draw some blood . . . from the tongue, 
hand, or arm, or from some other part [of the body] ," 3 

s's A Naturalist's Wanderings in the Eastern 
p. 452. 

2 Fetei Martyi's De Rebus Oceania* et Novo Orbe, p. 338 , cited m 
Spencer's Des. Soc. II., 34. 


And this ceremony is said to have formed " a compact 
for life." 1 

In Brazil, the Indians were said to have a rite of 
brotherhood so close and sacred that, as in the case of 
the Bed'ween beyond the Jordan, 2 its covenanting par- 
ties were counted as of one blood ; so that marriage 
between those thus linked would be deemed incestu- 
ous. " There was a word in their language to express 
a friend who was loved like a brother ; it is written 
Atourrassap [' erroneously, beyond a doubt/ adds 
Southey, ' because their speech is without the r '] . 
They who called each other by this name, had all 
things in common ; the tie was held to be as sacred as 
that of consanguinity, and one could not marry the 
daughter or sister of the other." 3 

A similar tie of adopted brotherhood, or of close 
and sacred friendship, is recognized among the North 
American Indians. Writing of the Dakotas, or the 
Sioux, Dr. Riggs, the veteran missionary and scholar, 
says : " Where one Dakota takes another as his koda, 
i. e., god, or friend, [Think of that, for sacredness of 
union ' god, or friend ' !] they become brothers in each 
other's families, and are, as such, of course unable to 
intermarry." 4 And Burton, the famous traveler, who 

1 See Bancroft's Native Races of the Pacific Coast, I., 741. 

2 See page 10, supra. s Southey*s Brazil^., 240. 

4 Lynd's Histoiy of the Dakotas, p. 73, note. 


made this same tribe a study, says of the Dakotas : 
" They are fond of adoption, and of making brother- 
hoods like the Africans [Burton is familiar with the 
customs of African tribes] ; and so strong is the tie 
that marriage with the sister of an adopted brother is 
within the prohibited degree." 1 

Among the people of the Society Islands, and per- 
haps also among those of other South Sea Islands, 
the term tayo is applied to an attached personal 
friend, in a peculiar relation of intimacy. The formal 
ceremony of brotherhood, whereby one becomes the 
tayo of another, in these islands, I have not found 
described; but the closeness and sacredness of the 
relation, as it is held by many of the natives, would 
seem to indicate the inter-mingling of blood in the 
covenanting, now or in former times. The early 
missionaries to those islands, speaking of the prevalent 
unchastity there, make this exception : " If a person is 
a tayo of the husband, he must indulge in no liberties 
with the sisters or the daughters, because they are 
considered as his own sisters or daughters ; and incest 
is held in abhorrence by them ; nor will any tempta- 
tions engage them to violate this bond of purity. The 
wife, however, is excepted, and considered as common 
property for the tayo. 2 Lieutenant Corner [a still 
earlier voyager] also added, that a tayoship formed 

1 Burton's City of the Saints, p. 117. a Sec page 54, 


between different sexes put the most solemn barrier 
against all personal liberties." 1 Here is evidenced that 
same view of the absolute oneness of nature through 
a oneness of blood, which shows itself among the 
Semites of Syria, 2 among the Malays of Timor, 3 and 
among the Indians of America. 4 

And so this close and sacred covenant relation, this 
rite of blood-friendship, this inter-oneness of life by an 
inter-oneness of blood, shows itself in the primitive 
East, and in the wild and pre-historic West; in the 
frozen North, as in the torrid South. Its traces are 
everywhere. It is of old, and it is of to-day; as uni- 
versal and as full of meaning as life itself. 

It will be observed that we have already noted 
proofs of the independent existence of this rite of 
blood-brotherhood, or blood-friendship, among the 
three great primitive divisions of the race the Semit- 
ic, the Hamitic, and the Japhetic; and this in Asia, 
Africa, Europe, America, and the Islands of the Sea ; 
again, among the five modern and more popular divis- 
ions of the human family: Caucasian, Mongolian, 
Ethiopian, Malay, and American. This fact in itself 
would seem to point to a common origin of its various 
manifestations, in the early Oriental home of the now 
scattered peoples of the world. Many references to 

l Mzss. Voyage to So Pacif Ocean, p 360 f. 
2 See page 10, supra. 8 See page 54, supra. * See page 55 f., sufra. 


this rite, in the pages of classic literature, seem to 
have the same indicative bearing, as to its nature and 
primitive source. 


Lucian, the bright Greek thinker, who was born and 
trained in the East, writing in the middle of the second 
century of our era, is explicit as to the nature and 
method of this covenant as then practised in the East 
In his " Toxaris or Friendship," l Mnesippus the Greek, 
and Toxaris the Scythian, are discussing friendship, 
Toxaris declares : " It can easily be shown that Scy- 
thian friends are much more faithful than Greek 
friends ; and that friendship is esteemed more highly 
among us than among you." Then Toxaris goes on 
to say 2 : "But first I wish to tell you in what manner 
we [in Scythia] make friends ; not in our drinking 
bouts as you do, nor simply because a man is of the 
same age [as ourselves], or because he is our neigh- 
bor. But, on the contrary, when we see a good man, 
and one capable of great deeds, to him we all hasten, 
and (as you do in the case of marrying, so we think it 
right to do in the case of our friends) we court him, 
and we [who would be friends] do all things together, 
so that we may not offend against friendship, or seem 

1 Opera, p. 545. * Toxari^ chap. 37, 


worthy to be rejected. And whenever one decides to 
be a friend, we [who would join in the covenant] make 
the greatest of all oaths, to live with one another, and 
to die, if need be, the one for the other. And this is 
the manner of it : Thereupon, cutting our fingers, all 
simultaneously, we let the blood drop into a vessel, 
and having dipped the points of our swords into it, 
both [of us] holding them together, 1 we drink it 
There is nothing which can loose us from one another 
after that" 

Yet a little earlier than Lucian, Tacitus, foremost 
among Latin historians, gives record of this rite of 
blood-brotherhood as practised in the East He is tell- 
ing, in his Annals, of Rhadamistus, leader of the Iber- 
ians, who pretends to seek a covenant with Mithridates, 
King of the Armenians (yet farther east than Scythia), 
which should make firm the peace between the two 
nations, " d&s testibiis? "the gods being witnesses." 
Here Tacitus makes an explanation: 2 " It is the custom 
of [Oriental] kings, as often as they come together to 
make covenant, to join right hands, to tie the thumbs 
together, and to tighten them with a knot Then, 
when the blood is [thus] pressed to the finger tips, 
they draw blood by a light stroke, and lick 3 it in turn. 

1 See leferences to arms as accessories to the rite, in Africa, and in 
Madagascar, and in Timor, at pages 16, 32, 35 f., 45 f , 53, supra. 
8 Annaks, XII., 47. 3 See page 1 1, supra. 


This they regard as a divine 1 covenant, made sacred 
as it were, by mutual blood [or blended lives] ." 

There are several references, by classical writers, to 
this blood-friendship, or to this blood-covenanting, in 
connection with Catiline's conspiracy against the Ro- 
man Republic. Sallust, the historian of that conspir- 
acy, says : " There were those at that time who said 
that Catiline, at this conference [with his accomplices] 
when he inducted them into the oath of partnership in 
crime, carried round in goblets human blood, mixed 
with wine ; and that after all had tasted of it, with an 
imprecatory oath, as is men's wont in solemn rites [in 
" Sharb el-ahd"* as the Arabs would say] he opened 
to them his plans." 3 Florus, a later Latin historian, 
describing this conspiracy, says : " There was added 
the pledge of the league, human blood, which 
they drank as it was borne round to them in gob- 
lets." 4 And yet later, Tertullian suggests that it was 
their own blood, mingled with wine, of which the 
fellow-conspirators drank together. " Concerning the 
eating of blood and other such tragic dishes," he 
says, "you read (I do not know where), that blood 
drawn from the arms, and tasted by one another, 

1 Arcamtm , literally mysteiious," not in the .sense of secret, or 
occult, but wath reference to its sacred and supernatural oiigm and 

2 See p. 9, supra. *Catilma, cap. XXII. * Historic , IV., I, 4. 


was the method of making covenant among certain 
nations. I know not but that under Catiline such 
blood was tasted." 1 

In the Pitti Palace, in Florence, there is a famous 
painting of the conspiracy of Catiline, by Salvator 
Rosa; it is, indeed, Salvator Rosa's masterpiece, in the 
line of historical painting. This painting represents 
the covenanting by blood. Two conspirators stand 
face to face, their right hands clasped above a votive 
altar. The bared right arm of each is incised, a little 
below the elbow. The blood is streaming from the 
arm of one, into a cup which he holds, with his left 
hand, to receive it ; while the dripping arm of the 
other conspirator shows that his blood has already 
flowed into the commingling cup. 2 The uplifted hand 
of the daysman between the conspirators seems to in- 
dicate the imprecatory vows which the two are assum- 
ing, in the presence of the gods, and of the witnesses 
who stand about the altar. This is a clear indication 
of the traditional form of covenanting between Cati- 
line and his fellow conspirators. 

As far back, even, as the fifth century before Christ, 
we find an explicit description of this Oriental rite of 
blood-covenanting, in the writings of " the Father of 
History." "Now the Scythians," says Herodotus, 3 
" make covenants in the following manner, with whom- 

cap. IX. 2 See stamp on outside cover. 3 Hist., IV., 70. 


soever they make them. Having poured out wine into 
a great earthen drinking-bowl, they mingle with it the 
blood of those cutting covenant, striking the body [of 
each person having a part in it] with a small knife, or 
cutting it slightly with a sword. Thereafter, they dip 
into the bowl, sword, arrows, axe, and javelin. 1 But 
while they are doing this, they utter many invokings 
[of curse upon a breach of this covenant] ; 2 and, after- 
wards, not only those who make the covenant, but 
those of their followers who are of the highest rank, 
drink off [the wine mingled with blood] ." 

Again Herodotus says of this custom, in his day 8 : 
" Now the Arabians reverence in a very high degree 
pledges between man and man. They make these 
pledges in the following way. When they wish to 
make pledges to one another, a third man, standing in 
the midst of the two, cuts with a sharp stone the inside 
of the hands along the thumbs of the two making 
the pledges. After that, plucking some woolen floss 
from the garments of each of the two, he anoints with 
the blood seven stones [as the "heap of witness" 4 ] 
which are set in the midst While he is doing this he 

1 See note, at page 59> sitpra. 

2 Sec the references to imprecatoiy invokings, in connection with the 
obseivancc of the ute in Syiia, in Central Africa, in Madagascar, and IB 
Timor, at page& 9, 20, 31, 46 f., 53, supra. 

8 Ifat^ HI., 8 *Sce page 45 supra, note. 


invokes Dionysus and Urania. When this rite is com- 
pleted, he that has made the pledges [to one from 
without] introduces the [former] stranger to his 
friends I or the fellow citizen [to his fellows] if the 
rite was performed with a fellow-citizen." 

Thus it is clear, that the rite of blood-brotherhood, 
or of blood-friendship, which is to-day a revered form 
of sacred covenanting in the unchangeable East, was 
recognized as an established custom among Oriental 
peoples twenty-three centuries ago. Its beginning 
must certainly have been prior to that time ; if not 
indeed long prior. 

An indication of the extreme antiquity of this rite 
would seem to be shown in a term employed in its 
designation by the Romans, early in our Christian era ; 
when both the meaning and the origin of the term 
itself were already lost in the dim past. Festus, 3 a 
writer, of fifteen centuries or more ago, concerning 
Latin antiquities, is reported 8 as saying, of this drink 
of the covenant of blood : "A certain kind of drink, 
of mingled wine and blood, was called assiratum by 

1 See references to the welcoming of new friends by the natives of Af- 
nca and of Borneo, at the celebration of this rite, at pages 36 f., 51, supra. 

2 Sextus Pompems Festus, whose chief work, in the third or fourth 
Christian century, was an epitome, with added notes and criticisms, of 
an unpreserved work of M. Vernus Flaccus, on the Latin language and 

8 See Rosenmiiller's Scholia in Vet. Test.) apud Psa. 16:4. 


the ancients; for the ancient Latins called blood, 
assir" Our modern lexicons give this isolated claim, 
made by Festus, of the existence of any such word as 
" assir " signifying " blood," in " the ancient Latin lan- 
guage;" 1 and some of them try to show the possibili- 
ties of its origin; 2 but no convincing proof of any such 
word and meaning in the Latin can be found. 

Turning, however, to the languages of the East, 
where the binding vow of blood-friendship was pledged 
in the drink of wine and blood, or of blood alone, 
from time immemorial, we have no difficulty in find- 
ing the meaning of " assir." Asar (IDX) is a common 
Hebrew word, signifying "to bind together" as in 
a mutual covenant. Issar (IBK), again, is a vow of 
self-renunciation. Thus we have Asar issar 'al nephcsh 
(PSJ hz IDK ^DN) "To bind a self-devoting vow upon 
one's life" 3 upon one's blood; "for the blood is 
the life." 4 In the Arabic, also, asara ( /-^t ) means 
"to bind," or "to tie"; while asar ( f\ ) is "a cove- 
nant," or "a compact"; and as^vdr ( ^y*\ ) is "a 
bracelet" ; which in itself is " a band," and may be" a 
fetter." 5 So, again, in the Assyrian, the verb "to 
bind," and the noun for "a bracelet" or "a fetter," 

1 See Scheller's, and Harpers', Latin Dictionary, s. v. "A&suatum." 

2 See Curtius's Griechische Etymologic, s. v, lap (AW). 

8 See Gesenius, and Fuerst, s. w. * DeuL 12 ; 23. 

6 See Lane, and Frcylag, s. w. 


are from the same root. 1 The Syriac gives esar 
( ^1 ), "a bond," or "a belt." 3 All these, with 
the root idea, "to bind " as a covenant binds. In the 
light of these facts, it is easy to see how the "issar" or 
the " assar," when it was a covenant of blood, came to 
be counted by the Latins the blood which was a cove- 


Just here it may be well to emphasize the fact, that, 
from time immemorial, and the world over, the armlet, 
the bracelet, and the ring, have been counted the sym- 
bols of a boundless bond between giver and receiver ; 
the tokens of a mutual, unending covenant. Possibly, 
probably, as I think, this is in consequence of the 
primitive custom of binding, as an amulet, the enclosed 
record enclosed in the " house of the amulet " 3 of 
the covenant of blood on the arm of either participant 
in that rite ; possibly, again, it is an outgrowth of the 
common root idea of a covenant and a bracelet, as a 
binding agency. 

Blood-covenanting and bracelet-binding seem as 
already shown to be intertwined in the languages of 
the Oriental progenitors of the race. There are, like- 
wise, indications of this intertwining in the customs of 

1 See, for example, Delitzsch's Assyriscke Lesesfficke, second edition, 
p. 1 01, line 72. 

See Castell's Lexicon Syriacum, s. v. * See page 7, supra. 


peoples, East and West For example, in India, where 
blood-shedding is peculiarly objectionable, the gift and 
acceptance of a bracelet is an ancient covenant-tie, 
seemingly akin to blood-brotherhood. Of this cus- 
tom, an Indian authority says : "Amongst the rajput 
races of India the women adopt a brother by the 
gift of a bracelet The intrinsic value of such pledges 
is never looked to, nor is it necessary that it should 
be costly, though it varies with the means and rank 
of the donor, and may be of flock silk and span- 
gles, or of gold chains and gems. The acceptance of 
the pledge is by the 'katcJilij or corset, of simple silk 
or satin, or gold brocade and pearls. Colonel Tod 
was the Rakhi-bund Bhai [the Bracelet-bound Bro- 
ther] of the three queens of Oodipur, Bundi, and Kotch ; 
as also of Chund-Bai, the maiden sister of the Rana, 
and of many ladies of the chieftains of rank. Though 
the bracelet may be sent by maidens, it is only on oc- 
casions of urgent necessity and danger. The adopted 
brother may hazard his life in his adopted sister's cause, 
and yet never receive a mite in reward; for he cannot 
even see the fair object, who, as brother of her adop- 
tion, has constituted him her defender." 1 

"The . . . 'Bracelet-bound Brother 'feels himself 
called upon to espouse the cause of the lady from 

1 Cited from "Tod's Travels, Journal Indian Archipelago, Vol. V., 
No. 12," m Balfour's CycZ. of India, s, v., "Brother." 


whom he has received the gift, and to defend her 
against all her enemies, whenever she shall demand 
his assistance." Thus, the Great Mogul, Hoomayoon, 
father of the yet more celebrated Akbar, was in his 
early life bound, and afterwards loyally recognized his 
binding, as "the sworn knight of one of the princesses 
of Rajasthan, who, according to the custom of her 
country, secured the sword of the prince in her service 
by the gift of a bracelet " When he had a throne of 
his own to care for, this princess, Kurnivati, being be- 
sieged at Cheetore, sent to Hoomayoon, then prosecu- 
ting a vigorous campaign in Bengal ; and he, as in duty 
bound, " instantly obeyed the summons " ; and 
although he was not in season to rescue her, he 
" evinced his fidelity by avenging the fall of the city." 1 
It is noteworthy, just here, that the Oriental biogra- 
pher of the Mogul Akbar calls attention to the fact, 
that while the Persians describe close friendship as 
chiefly subsisting between men, " in Hindostan it is 
celebrated between man and woman"; 2 as, indeed, it 
is among the Arab tribes east of the Jordan. 3 

In the Norseland, an oath of fidelity was taken on a 
ring, or a bracelet, kept in the temple of the gods ; 
and the gift and acceptance of a bracelet, or a ring, 

1 See Elliott and Roberta's Views in India, II., 64. 

2 Ayeen Akbery> II , 453. 
8 See citation from Wetzstein, at page 9 f., supra. 


was a common symbol of a covenant of fidelity. Thus, 
in " Havamal," the high song of Odin, we find : 

"Odin, I believe, 
A ring-oath gave. 
Who in his faith will tiust ? " 

And in " Viga Glum's Saga," it is related: "In the 
midst of a wedding party, Glum calls upon Thorarin, 
his accuser, to hear his oath, and taking in his hand a 
silver ring which had been dipped in sacrificial blood, 
he cites two witnesses to testify to his oath on the ring, 
and to his having appealed to the gods in his denial 
of the charge made against him." In the "Saga of 
Fridthjof the Bold/' when Fridthjof is bidding fare- 
well to his beloved Ingeborg, he covenants fidelity to 
her by the gift of 

"An ann-ring, all over famous ; 

Forged by the halting Volund, 'twas, the old North-story's Vul- 
can . . , 

Heaven was grav'd thereupon, with the twelve immoitals' strong castles 
Signs of the changing months, but the skald had Sun-houses named 

As Fridthjof gave this pledge to Ingeborg, he said : 

" Forget me never ; and, 
In sweet remembiance of our youthful love, 
This arm-ring take ; a fail Volunder-work, 
With all heaven's wonders carved i' th' shining gold. 
Ah J the best wonder is a faithful heart . , . 
How prettily becomes it thy white arm 
A glow-worm twining round a lily stem." 


And the subsequent story of that covenanting arm- 
ring, fills thrilling pages in Norseland lore. 1 

Yet again, in the German cycle of the " Nibelungen 
Lied," Gotelind, the wife of Sir Rudeger, gives brace- 
lets to the warrior-bard Folker, to bind him as her 
knightly champion in the court of King Etzel, to 
which he goes. Her jewel casket is brought to her. 

" From tliis she took twelve bracelets, and drew them o'er his hand ; 
' These you must take, and with you bear hence to Etzel's land, 
And for the sake of Gotelind the same at court must wear, 
That I may learn, when hither again you all lepair, 
What service you have done me in yon assembly bright.' 
The lady's wish thereafter full well performed the knight." 

And when the fight waxed sore at the court of Etzel, 
the daring and dying Folker called on Sir Rudeger to 
bear witness to his bracelet-bound fidelity : 

"For me, most noble margrave ! you must a message bear; 
These bracelets red were given me late by your lady fair, 
To wear at this high festal before the royal Hun. 
View them thyself, and tell her that I've her bidding done." 2 

It would, indeed, seem, that from this root-idea of 
the binding force of an endless covenant, symbolized 
in the form, and in the primitive name, of the bracelet, 
the armlet, the ring, there has come down to us the 
use of the wedding-ring, or the wedding-bracelet, and 

x See Anderson's Norse MythoL, p. 149; his Viking Tales, pp. 184, 
237, 272 f.; Wood's Wedding Day in all Ages and Countries, p. 139. 
2 Lettsom's Nibelungen Lied, pp. 299, 388. 


of the signet-ring as the seal of the most sacred cove- 
nants. The signet-ring appears in earliest history. 
When Pharaoh would exalt Joseph over all the land 
of Egypt, " Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, 
and put it upon Joseph's hand." 1 Similarly with 
Ahasuerus and Haman: "The king took his ring from 
his hand, and gave it unto Haman ; " and the irrevoca- 
ble decrees when written were " sealed with the king's 
ring." When again Haman was deposed and Morde- 
cai was exalted, " the king took off his ring, which he 
had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai." 2 
The re-instatement of the prodigal son, in the parable, 
was by putting" a ring on his hand." 3 And these 
illustrations out of ancient Egypt, Persia, and Syria, 
indicate a world-wide custom, so far. One's signet- 
ring stood for his very self, and represented, thus, his 
blood, as his life. 

The use of rings, or bracelets, or armlets, in the 
covenant of betrothal, or of marriage, is from of old, 
and it is of wide-spread acceptance. 4 References to it 
are cited from Pliny, Tertullian, Juvenal, Isidore ; and 
traces of it are found, earlier or later, among the peo- 
ples of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Islands of the 
Sea. In Iceland, the covenanting-ring was large 
enough for the palm of the hand to be passed through ; 

iGen. 41 : 41, 42. 2 Esther 3 : io-I2 ; 8 : 2. 3 Luke 15 : 22. 
*See Wood's Wedding Day, also Jones's Fwger JRui$ ton. 


so, in betrothal " the bridegroom passed four fingers 
and his palm through one of these rings, and in this 
manner he received the hand of the bride." In Ire- 
land, long ago, " a usual gift from a woman to her be- 
trothed husband was a pair of bracelets made of her 
own hair " ; as if a portion of her very self as in the 
case of one's blood entered into the covenant rite. 
Again in Ireland, as also among the old Romans, the 
wedding-ring was in the form of two hands clasped 
(called a "fede"} in token of union and fidelity. 

Sometimes, in England, the wedding-ring was worn 
upon the thumb, as extant portraits illustrate ; and as 
suggested in Butler's Hudibras : 
" Others were for abolishing 
That tool of matrimony, a ring, 
With which the unsanctify'd bridegroom 
Is marry'd only to a thumb." 

In Southern's " Maid's Last Prayer," the heroine 
says : " Marry him I must, and wear my wedding-ring 
upon my thumb too, that I'm resolved." l These 
thumb-weddings were said to be introduced from the 
East 2 ; and Chardin reports a form of marriage in 
Ceylon, by the binding together of the thumbs of the 
contracting parties; 3 as, according to the classics, the 
thumbs were bound together in the rite of blood-cov- 
enanting. 4 Indeed, the selection of the ring-finger for 

1 Cited in Jones's Finger Ring Lore, p. 289. 2 See Ibid., pp. 87-90. 
8 Persian- und Ost-Indische Reise, II., 1 96. * See pp. 59 f., 62, supra. 


the wedding-covenant has commonly been attributed 
to the relation of that finger to the heart as the blood- 
centre, and as the seat of life. "Aulus Gellius tells us, 
that Appianus asserts, in his Egyptian books, that a 
very delicate nerve runs from the fourth finger of the 
left hand to the heart, on which account this finger is 
used for the marriage-ring " Macrobius says that in 
Roman espousals the woman put the covenant ring " on 
the third finger of her left hand [not counting the thumb], 
because it was believed that a nerve ran from that finger 
to the heart" And as to the significance of this point, 
it has been said : " T&zfact [of the nerve connection with 
the heart] has nothing to do with the question : that the 
ancients believed it, is all we require to know." * 

Among the Copts of Egypt, both the blood and the 
ring have their part in the covenant of marriage. 
Two rings are employed, one for the bride and one for 
the bridegroom. At the door of the bridegroom's 
house, as the bride approaches it, a lamb or a sheep 
is slaughtered; and the bride must have a care to step 
over the covenanting-blood as she enters the door, 
to join the bridegroom. It is after this ceremony, 
that the two contracting parties exchange the rings, 
which are as the tokens of the covenant of blood. 2 

*See Godwyn's Romana Histories, p 69; Bi ewer's Diet, of 2Vi rase and 
Fablers, vv " Ring," " Ring Fingei " ; Jones's Finger Ring Lore, p. 275. 
See also Appendix, infra, J Lane's Mod. Egypt t !* 2 93- 


In Borneo, among the Tring Dayaks, the marriage cere- 
mony includes the smearing with a bloody sword, the 
clasped hands of the bride and groom, in conjunction 
with an invoking of the protecting spirits. 1 In this case, 
the wedding-ring would seem to be a bond of blood. 

Again, in Little Russia, the bride gives to the bride- 
groom a covenanting draught in " a cup of wine, in 
which a ring has been put " ; 2 as if in that case the wine 
and the blood-bond of the covenant were commingled 
in a true assiratum? That this latter custom is an 
ancient one, would seem to be indicated by the indirect 
reference to it in Sir Walter Scott's ballad of "The 
Noble Moringer," a mediaeval lay where the long 
absent knight returns from the Holy Land just in 
time to be at the wedding-feast of his enticed wife. 
He appears unrecognized at the feast, as a poor 
palmer. A cup of wine is sent to him by the bride. 

" It was the noble Moringer that dropped amid the wine 
A bridal nng of burning gold so costly and so fine : 
Now hsten, gentles, to my song, it tells you but the sooth, 
'Twos with that very ring of gold he pledged his bridal truth." 

Clearly this was not the ring he gave at his bridal, 
but the one which he accepted, inthecovenanting-cup, 
from his bride. The cup was carried back from the - 
palmer to the bride, for her drinking. 

x See Bock's Head ffwtfers of Borneo, p. 221 f. 
* Finger Ring Lore, p. 174 3 See page 63 f., supra. 


" The ring hath caught the Lady's eye ; she views it close and near ; 
Then might you hear her shriek aloud, * The Mormger is here ! ' 
Then might you see her stait from seat, while teais in toirents fell ; 
But whether 'twas fiom joy or woe, the ladies best can tell." 

To the present day, an important ceremony at the 
coronation of a sovereign of Great Britain, is the 
investiture of the sovereign per anmdwn, or " by the 
ring." The ring is placed on the fourth finger of the 
sovereign's right hand, by the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury ; and it is called " The Wedding Ring of Eng- 
land," as it symbolizes the covenant union of the 
sovereign and his people. A similar practice prevails 
at the coronation of European sovereigns generally. 
It also runs back to the days of the early Roman 
emperors, and of Alexander the Great 1 

That a ring, or a circlet, worn around a thumb, or a 
finger, or an arm, in token of an endless covenant 
between its giver and receiver, has been looked upon, 
in all ages, as the symbol of an inter-union of the lives 
thereby brought together, is unmistakable; whether 
the covenanting life-blood be drawn for such inter- 
commingling, directly from the member so encircled, 
or not. The very covenant itself, or its binding force, 
has been sometimes thought to depend on the circlet 
representing it ; as if the life which was pledged 
passed into the token of its pledging. Thus Lord 

1 See Finger Ring Lore, pp. 177-197. 


Bacon says : " It is supposed [to be] a help to the 
continuance of love, to wear a ring or bracelet of the 
person beloved;" 1 and he suggests that "a trial 
should be made by two persons, of the effect of com- 
pact and agreement ; that a ring should be put on for 
each other's sake, to try whether, if one should break 
his promise the other would have any feeling of it in 
his absence." In other words, that the test should be 
made, to see whether the inter-union of lives symbol- 
ized by the covenant-token be a reality. On this idea 
it is, that many persons are unwilling to remove the 
wedding-ring from the finger, while the compact holds. 2 
It is not improbable, indeed, that the armlets, or 
bracelets, which were found on the arms of Oriental 
kings, and of Oriental divinities as well, were intended 
to indicate, or to symbolize, the personal inter-union 
claimed to exist between those kings and divinities. 
Thus an armlet worn by Thotmes III. is preserved 
in the museum at Leyden. It bears the cartouche of 
the King, having on it his sacred name, with its refer- 
ence to his inter-union with his god. It was much the 
same in Nineveh. 3 Lane says, that upon the seal ring 
commonly worn by the modern Egyptian " is engraved 
the wearer's name," and that this name " is usually ac- 

1 Cited in Jones's Credulities Past and Present, p. 204 f. 2 See Appendix. 
8 See Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt., IL, 340-343 ; Layard's Nineveh and 
its Remains, II., 250, 358; also 2 Sam. 1 : 10. 


companied by the words ' His servant ' (signifying ' the 
servant, or worshiper of God*), and often by other 
words expressive of the person's trust in God." 1 

As the token of the blood-covenant is sometimes 
fastened about the arm, and sometimes about the neck; 
so the encircling necklace, as well as the encircling 
armlet, is sometimes counted the symbol of a covenant 
of very life. This is peculiarly the case in India; 
where the bracelet-brotherhood has been shown to be 
an apparent equivalent of the blood-brotherhood. 
Among the folk-lore stories of India, it is a common 
thing to hear of a necklace which holds the soul of the 
wearer. That necklace removed, the wearer dies. 
That necklace restored, the wearer lives again. " So- 
dewa Bai was born with a golden necklace about her 
neck, concerning which also her parents consulted as- 
trologers, who said, ' This is no common child ; the 
necklace of gold about her neck contains your daugh- 
ter's soul ; let it therefore be guarded with the utmost 
care ; for if it were taken off, and worn by another 
person, she would die. 7 " On that necklace of life, the 
story hangs. The necklace was stolen by a servant, 
and Sodewa Bai died. Being placed in a canopied 
tomb, she revived, night by night, when the servant 
laid off the stolen necklace which contained the soul 
of Sodewa Bai. The loss was at last discovered by 

1 Modem Egyptians^ L, 39, 


her husband; the necklace was restored to her, and 
she lived again. 1 And this is but one story of many. 

In the Brahman marriage ceremony the bridegroom 
receives his bride by binding a covenanting necklace 
about her neck. " A small ornament of gold, called 
tahly, which 13 the sign of their being actually in the 
state of marriage, ... is fastened by a short 
string dyed yellow with saffron" 2 And a Sanskrit 
word for " saffron " is also a word for " blood." 3 

The importance of this symbolism of the token of 
the blood-covenant, in its bearing on the root-idea of 
an inter-union of natures by an inter-commingling of 
blood, will be more clearly shown by and by. 


Going back, now, to the world's most ancient 
records, in the monuments of Egypt, we find evidence 
of the existence of the covenant of blood in those 
early days. Even then it seems to have been a custom 
to covenant by tasting the blood from another's arm ; 
and this inter-transference of blood was supposed to 
carry an inter-commingling, or an inter-merging, of 
natures. So far was this symbolic thought carried, 
that the ancient Egyptians spoke of the departed 
spirit as having entered into the nature, and, indeed, 

1 Frere's Old Deccan Days, pp. 225-245. 
j. of Man. and Oust, of India, Part II , chap. 7. 
8 See p. 194, infra. 


into the very being, of the gods, by the rite of tasting 
blood from the divine arm. 

" The Book of the Dead," as it is commonly called, 
or " The Book of the Going Forth into Day," (" The 
path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth 
more and more unto the perfect day/' *) is a group, 
or series, of ancient Egyptian writings, representing 
the state and the needs and the progress of the soul 
after death. 2 A copy of this Funereal Ritual, as it is 
sometimes called, " more or less complete, according 
to the fortune of the deceased, was deposited in the 
case of every mummy." 3 " As the Book of the Dead 
is the most ancient, so it is undoubtedly the most 
important, of the sacred books of the Egyptians ; " 4 it 
is, in fact, " according to Egyptian notions, essentially 
an inspired work ; " 5 hence its contents have an excep- 
tional dogmatic value. In this Book of the Dead, 
there are several obvious references to the rite of blood- 
covenanting. Some of these are in a chapter of the 
Ritual which was found transcribed in a coffin of the 

1 Piov. 4: 18. 

2 See Lepsius's Todtenbuch; Bunsen's Egypt's Place in Universal 
History, V., 125-133 , Renouf's The Religion of Ancient Egypt, pp. 

3 See Lenormant and Chevallier's Ancient History of the East, I., 308. 

* Renouf's The Religion of Ancient Egypt, p. 208. 
6 Bunsen's Egypt's Place, V , 133. 


Eleventh Dynasty ; thus carrying it back to a period 
prior to the days of Abraham. 1 

" Give me your arm ; I am made as ye," says the 
departed soul, speaking to the gods. 2 Then, In explan- 
ation of this statement, the pre-historic gloss of the 
Ritual goes on to say: "The blood is that which 
proceeds from the member of the Sun, after he goes 
along cutting himself;" 3 the covenant blood which 
unites the soul and the god is drawn from the flesh of 

1 See Egypt's Place, V., 127. 2 Ibid., V., 174 f. 

3 This is the rendering of Birch. Ebers has looked for an explana- 
tion of this gloss in the rite of circumcision (&g}ipten. u. d. Bucher 
Mose's, p. 284 f ) ; but the primary reference to the " arm " of the god, 
and to the union secured thiough the interflowing blood, point to the 
blood-covenant as the employed figure of speech ; although circumcision, 
as will be seen presently, was likewise a symbol of the blood-covenant 
for one's self and for one's seed. Brugsch also sees a similai 
meaning to that suggested by Ebers in this reference to the blood. 
His rendenng of the original text is : " Reach me your hands. I have 
become that which ye are " (Religion u. MythoL d. alt. d,gypt., L, 219). 
Le Page Renouf, looking for the symbolisms of material nature in all 
these statements, would find here " the crimson of a sunset " in the 
" blood which flows from the Sun-god Ra, as he hastens to his suicide" 
( Trans, of Soc. of Bib. Arch., Vol. VIII , Part 2, p. 211). This, however, 
does not conflict with the spiritual symbolism of oneness of nature through 
oneness of blood. And no one of these last thiee suggested mean- 
ings accounts for the oneness with the gods through blood which the 
deceased claims, unless the symbolism of blood-covenanting be recog- 
nized in the terminology That symbolism being recognized, the 
precise souice of the flowing blood becomes a minor matter. 


Ra, when he has cut himself in the rite of that coven- 
ant By this covenant-cutting, the deceased becomes 
one with the covenanting gods. Again, the departed 
soul, speaking as Osiris, or as the Osirian, which 
every mummy represents, 1 says : " I am the soul in 
his two halves." Once more there follows the explana- 
tion : " The soul in his two halves is the soul of the 
Sun [of Ra], and the soul of Osiris [of the deceased]." 
Here is substantially the proverb of friendship cited 
by Aristotle, " One soul in two bodies," at least two 
thousand years before the days of the Greek philoso- 
pher. How much earlier it was recognized, does not 
yet appear. 

Again, when the deceased comes to the gateway 
of light, he speaks of himself as linked with the 
great god Seb ; as one " who loves his arm," a and 
who is, therefore, sure of admittance to him, within 
the gates. By the covenant of the blood-giving arm, 
"the Osiris opens the turning door; he has opened 
the turning door." Through oneness of blood, he has 
come into oneness of life with the gods ; there is no 
longer the barrier of a door between them. The 
separating veil is rent. 

An added indication that the covenant of blood- 

1 See Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt., Ill , 473 ; Renouf ' s Rehg. of Anc. 
, pp. 191-193 ; Lenoimant's Chaldean Magic, p 88. 
2 See Totiten&ucA, chap. LXVIIL; Egypt* s Place, V., 211. 


friendship furnished the ancient Egyptians with their 
highest conception of a union with the divine nature 
through an interflowing of the divine blood as the 
divine life is found in the amulet of this covenant ; 
corresponding with the token of the covenant of blood- 
friendship, which, as fastened to the arm, or about the 
neck, is deemed so sacred and so precious in the 
primitive East to-day. The hieroglyphic character 
( ^Hj ) which is translated "arm" is also translated 
" bracelet," or " armlet," (^ ! o) 1 as if in suggestion 
of the truth, already referred to, 2 that the blood-fur- 
nishing arm was represented by the token of the arm- 
encircling, or of the neck-encircling, bond, in the 
covenant of blood. Moreover, a " red talisman," or 
red amulet, stained with "the blood of Isis," and 
containing a record of the covenant, was placed at the 
neck of the mummy as an assurance of safety to his 
soul. 3 "When this book [this amulet-record] has 

1 See Pienet's Vocabitlaire Hitroglyphique, p. 721 f. ; also, Birch's 
" Diet, of Hierog " in Egypt's Place, V., 519. 

2 See page 65 f , sttpra. 

8 See Todtenbitcli, chap. CLVI.; Egypt's Place, V., 315 ; Trans, of 
Soc. of Bib. Arch., VIII., 2, 211. 

Another indication of the connection of these terms with this primi- 
tive rite, is in the fact that the hieroglyphic group which represents an 
amulet (1 ^ <) seems to have the root-idea of " word ;" as if it were 
applied to the text of the blood-covenant. 

The amulet as constructed for the mummy, was stained with the 


been made," says the Ritual, " it causes Isis to protect 
him [the Osirian], and Horus he rejoices to see him." 
" If this book [this covenant-token] is known," says 
Horus, " he [the deceased] is in the service of Osiris. 
. . . His name is like that of the gods." 

There are various other references to this rite, or 
other indications of its existence, than those already 
cited, in the Book of the Dead. " I have welcomed 
Thoth (or the king) with blood ; taking the gore from 
the blessed of Seb," 1 is one of these gleams. Again, 

water 01 liquid of the tree called ankh am C^f" ft*)- T^ e amulet itself, 
according to Brugsch, was also called ankh merer ( "J" ^Eg; ). But 
ankh ( -9- ) means either to live (the ordinary meaning), or to swear, 
to make oath (more larely), and merer ( ^^ ) is a reduplicated foim 
of mer ( *^-P ) to love, love, friendship. The meaning of ankh merer 
as applied to the blood-amulet may be oath, or covenant, or pledge 
of love or friendship. The word merer, in the compound ankh merer, 
is followed with the deteiminative of the flying scaiabseus (^J^), 
which was commonly placed (Anc. Egypt., III., 346) upon the bieast, 
in lieu of the heart of the dead (Idid , III., 486) See page loo, infra 
And heie the inquiry is suggested, Was the ankh am the same as the 
modern henneh ? Note the connection of henneh with the maniage 
festivities in the East to-day. 

" Paint one hand with henna, mother ; 
Paint one hand and leave the other. 
Biacelets on the right with henna j 
On the left give drink to henna." 

(Jessup's Syrian Home Life, p. 34.) 
Egypt's Place, V., 232. 


there are incidental mentions of the tasting of blood 
by gods and by men; 1 and of the proffering, or the 
uplifting, of the blood-filled arm, in covenant with the 
gods. 2 

On a recently deciphered stele of the days of Ram- 
eses IV., of the Twentieth Dynasty, about twelve cen- 
turies before Christ, there is an apparent reference to 
this blood-covenanting, and to its amulet record. The 
inscription is a specimen of a funereal ritual, not unlike 
some portions of the Book of the Dead. The deceased 
is represented as saying, according to the translation 
of Piehl 3 : "I am become familiar with Thoth, by his 
writings, on the day when he spat upon his arm." The 
Egyptian word, khenmes, here translated "familiar," 
means "united with," or "joined with." The word 
here rendered "writings," is hetepoo ; which, in the 
singular, hetep, in the Book of Dead, stands for the 
record of the covenant on the blood-stained amulet 4 
The word peqas ("***/*)> rendered "spat," by 
Piehl, is an obscure term, variously rendered "moist- 
ened," "washed," "wiped," "healed" 5 It is clear 
therefore that this passage may fairly be read ; " I am 
become united with Thoth, by the covenant-record, on 
the day when he moistened, or healed his arm "; and 

1 See Egypt s Place, V., 174, 254, 282. 2 Ibid., V., 323. 

8 See Zeitschrift fur Mgyptiscke Sprache, erstes Heft, 1885, p. 16. 
* See page 81 f., supra. 5 See Pierret, Brugsch, Birch, s. v. 


if the arm were healed, it had been cut, and so moist- 
ened. Indeed, it is quite probable that this wordflcgas 
has a root connection with peg, pcqa, peqait, " a gap," 
"an opening," "to divide"; and even with penqu, 
(A&A^/&) "to bleed." Apparently, the unfamil- 
iarity of Egyptologists with this rite of blood-cove- 
nanting by the cutting of the arm, has hindered 
the recognition of the full force of many of the terms 

Ebers, in his "Uarda," has incidentally given an 
illustration of the custom of blood-covenanting in 
ancient Egypt. It is when the surgeon Nebsecht has 
saved the life of Uarda, and her soldier-father, Kaschta, 
would show his gratitude, and would pledge his life- 
long fidelity in return. 

"'If at any time thou dost want help, call me, and 
I will protect thee against twenty enemies. Thou hast 
saved my child good ! Life for life. I sign myself 
thy blood-ally there ! ' 

"With these words he drew his poniard out of his 
girdle. He scratched his arm, and let a few drops of 
his blood run down on a stone at the feet of Nebsecht 

" Look!' he said. 'There is my blood! Kaschta 
has signed himself thine; and thou canst dispose of 
my life as of thine own. What I have said, I have 
said.'" 1 

1 Uarda, L, 192. 


In this last cited illustration, from Uarda, there 
would, at first glance, seem to be the covenant prof- 
fered, rather than the covenant entered into; the cove- 
nant all on one side, instead of the mutual covenant 
But this is, if it were possible, only a more unselfish 
and a more trustful mode than the other, of covenant- 
ing by blood; of pledging the life, by pledging the 
blood, to one who is already trusted absolutely. And 
this mode of proffering the covenant of blood, or of 
pledging one's self in devotedness by the giving of 
one's blood, is still a custom in the East ; as it has been, 
in both the East and the West, from time immemorial. 

For example, in a series of illustrations of Oriental 
manners, prepared under the direction of the French 
ambassador to Turkey, at the beginning of the eigh- 
teenth century, there appears a Turkish lover gashing 
his arm in the presence of his lady-love, as a proof of 
his loving attachment to her ; and the accompanying 
statement is made, that the relative flow of blood thus 
devoted indicates the measure of affection or of af- 
fectionate devotedness^ 

A custom akin to this was found in Otaheite, when 
the South Sea Islands were first visited by English 

1 Femol's Recueil de cent Estampes representant differences Nations 
du Levant, Carte 43, and Explication, p. 16. 


missionaries. The measure of love, in time of joy or 
in time of grief, was indicated by the measure of blood 
drawn from the person of the loving one. Particularly 
was this the case with the women ; perhaps because 
they, in Otaheite as elsewhere, are more loving in their 
nature, and readier to give of their very life in love. 

"When a woman takes a husband," says a historian 
of the first missionary work in Otaheite, " she imme- 
diately provides herself with a shark's tooth, which is 
fixed, with the bread-fruit gum, on an instrument that 
leaves about a quarter of an inch of the tooth bare, 
for the purpose of wounding the head, like a lancet. 
Some of these have two or three teeth, and struck for- 
cibly they bring blood in copious streams ; according 
to the love iltey bear the party, and the violence of their 
grief, the strokes are repeated on the head; and this 
has been known to bring on fever, and terminate in 
madness. If any accident happen to the husband, [to] 
his relations, or friends, or their child, the shark's tooth 
goes to work ; and even if the child only fall down 
and hurt itself, the blood and tears mingle together. 
. . . They have a very similar way of expressing 
their joy as well as sorrow ; for whether a relation dies, 
or a dear friend returns from a journey, the shark's 
tooth instrument ... is again employed, and the 
blood streams down. . . . When a person of 
eminence dies ... the relatives and friends . , . 


repeat before it [the corpse] some of the tender 
scenes which happened during their life time, and wip- 
ing the blood which the shark's teeth has drawn, de- 
posit the cloth on the tupapow as the proof of their 
affection." 1 

In illustration of this custom, the same writer says, 
in the course of his narrative: "When we had got 
within a short mile of the Isthmus, in passing a few 
houses, an aged woman, mother to the young man who 
carried my linen, met us, and to express her joy at 
seeing her son, struck herself several times on the head 
with a shark's tooth, till the blood flowed plentifully 
down her breast and shoulders, whilst the son beheld 
it with entire insensibility [he saw in it only the com- 
mon proof of his mother's devoted love]. . . . The 
son seeing that I was not pleased with what was done, 
observed coolly, that it was the custom of Otaheite." 2 

This custom is again referred to by Mr. Ellis, as ob- 
served by him, in the Georgian and the Society Islands, 
a generation later than the authority above cited. He 
speaks of the shark's tooth blood-letter as employed 
by men as well as by women ; although more com- 
monly by the latter. He adds another illustration of 
the truth, that it is the blood itself, and not any suffer- 
ing caused by its flowing, that is counted the proof of 

1 First Miss. Voyage to the So. Sea Islands, pp. 352-363. 
d., p. 196. 


affection, by its representing the outpoured life, in 
pledge of covenant fidelity. 

Describing the scenes of blood-giving grief over 
the dead bodies of the mourned loved ones, he says : 
" The females on these occasions sometimes put on a 
kind of short apron, of a particular sort of cloth; 
which they held up with one hand, while they cut 
themselves with the other. In this apron they caught 
the blood that flowed from these grief-inflicted wounds, 
until it [the apron] was almost saturated. It was then 
dried in the sun, and given to the nearest surviving 
relatives, as a proof of the affection of the donor, and 
was preserved by the bereaved family as a token of 
the estimation in which the departed had been held." 1 
There is even more of vividness in this memorial than 
in that suggested by the Psalmist, when he says : 

" Put thou my tears into thy bottle " 2 

There would seem to be a suggestion of this same 
idea in one of Grimm's folk-lore fairy tales of the 
North. A queen's daughter is going away from her 
home, attended by a single servant Her loving 
mother would fain watch and guard her in her absence. 
Accordingly, " as soon as the hour of departure had 
arrived, the mother took her daughter into a chamber, 
and there, with a knife, she cut her [own] finger with 

1 Ellis's Polynesian Researches, I., 529. 2 Psa. 56 : 8. 


it, so that it bled Then she held her napkin beneath, 
and let three drops of blood fall into it; which she 
gave to her daughter, saying : ' Dear child, preserve 
this well, and it will help you out of trouble.' " l That 
blood represented the mother's very life. It was ac- 
customed to speak out in words of counsel and warn- 
ing to the daughter. But by and by the napkin which 
held it was lost, and then the power of the young 
princess over her mother's servant was gone, and the 
poor princess was alone in the wide world, at the mercy 
of strangers. 

Acting on the symbolism of this covenanting with 
another by the loving proffer of one's blood, men have 
reached out toward God, or toward the gods, in 
desire for a covenant of union, and in expression of 
fidelity of devotedness, by the giving of their blood 
God-ward. This, also, has been in the East and in 
the West, in ancient days and until to-day. 

There was a gleam of this in the Canaanitish 
worship of Baal, in the contest between his priests and 
the prophet Elijah, before King Ahab, at Mount Car- 
mel. First, those priests shed the blood of the substi- 
tute bullock, at the altar of their god, and " called on 
the name of Baal from morning even until noon, 
saying, O Baal, hear us ! But there was no voice, 
nor any that answered." Then they grew more earnest 

1 "The Goose Gill," in Gumm's Household Taks. 


in their supplications, and more demonstrative in their 
proofs of devotedness. "They leaped [or, limped] 
about the altar which was made. . . . And they 
cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with 
knives and lances, till the blood gushed out upon 
them." 1 Similar methods of showing love for God are 
in vogue among the natives of Armenia to-day. 
Describing a scene of worship by religious devotees in 
that region, Dr. Van Lennep says : " One of them cuts 
his forehead with a sword, so that ' the blood gushes 
out/ He wears a sheet in front, to protect his clothes, 
and his face is covered with clots of blood." 2 Clearly, 
in this case, as in many others elsewhere, it is not as a 
means of self-torture, but as a proof of self-devoted- 
ness, that the blood is poured out the life is proffered 
by the devotee, toward God. 

Among the primitive peoples of North and of South 
America, it was the custom of priests and people to 
draw blood from their own bodies, from their tongues, 
their ears, their noses, their limbs and members, when 
they went into their temples to worship, and to anoint 
with that blood the images of their gods. 3 The thorns 

1 r Kings 1 8 : 26-28. 2 Van Lennep's Bible Lands, pp 767-769. 

s See Herrera's Gen. Hut. of Cont. and Isl of America, III., 209, 
211, 216, 300 f. ; Clavigero's Hist. o/Mex., Bk. VI., chaps. 22, 38 ; Mon- 
tolinia's Hist. Ind. de Nueva Espana, p. 22 ; Landa's JRelat. Yucatan, 
XXXV.; Xunenez's Hist. Ind. Gautem., pp. 171-181; Palacio's San 


of the maguey a species of aloe were, in many re- 
gions, kept ready at places of sacrifice, for convenient 
use in this covenant blood-letting. 1 A careful student 
of these early American customs has said of the obvi- 
ous purpose of this yielding of one's blood in worship, 
that it "might be regarded as an act of individual 
devotion, a gift made to the gods by the worshiper 
himself, out of his own very substance [of his very 
life, as in the blood-covenant]. . . . The priests in 
particular owed it to their special character [in their 
covenant relation to the divinities], to draw their blood 
for the benefit of the gods [in renewed pledge to the 
gods] ; and nothing could be stranger than the refined 
methods they adopted to accomplish this end. For 
instance, they would pass strings or splinters through 
their lips or ears, and so draw a little blood. But then 
a fresh string, or a fresh splinter, must be added every 
day, and so it might go on indefinitely ; for the more 
there were, the more meritorious was the act ; " 2 pre- 

Sato. and Hond. (in Squier's Coll, I.) 65 ff, 106, 116; Simon's Ter. 
Not. Conq. Tier. Firm, en Nue Gran, (in Kingsborough's Antiq. of 
Mex VIII.) 208, 248 ; all cited in Spencer's Des. Soc. II., 20-26, 28, 33. 
See, also, Bancroft's Native Races of Pacif Coast, I., 665, 723 ; II., 
259 36 708, 710. 

1 Serving the purpose of the Otaheitan shaik's teeth. See page 86 f., 

2 Re" ville's Native Religions of Mexico and Peru, p. 84 f. 


ciscly as is the standard of love-showing by blood-let- 
ting among Turkish lovers and Otaheitan wives and 
mothers, in modern times. 

A similar giving of blood, in proof of devotedness, 
and in outreaching for inter-communion with the gods 
through blood, is reported in India, in recent times. 
Bishop Caldwell, of Madras, referred to it, a genera- 
tion ago, in his description of the " Devil Dance " 
among the Tinnevelly Shawars. 1 The devotee, in this 
dance, " cuts and lacerates himself till the blood flows, 
lashes himself with a huge whip, presses a burning 
torch to his breast, drinks the blood which flows from 
his own wounds, or drains the blood of the sacrifice ; 
putting the throat of a decapitated goat to his mouth." 
Hereby he has given of his own blood to the gods, or 
to the devils, and has drunk of the substitute blood 
of the divinities in the consecrated sacrifice ; as if in 
consummation of the blood-covenant with the supernal 
powers. " Then as if he had acquired new life [through 
inter-union with the object of his worship], he begins 
to brandish his staff of bells, and to dance with a 
quick but wild unsteady step. Suddenly the afflatus 
descends; there is no mistaking that glare or those 
frantic leaps. He " snorts, he swears, he gyrates. 
The demon has now taken bodily possession of him. 
[The twain are one. The two natures are inter- 

1 Cited in Adam's Curiosities of Superstition. 


mingled]. . . . The devil-dancer is now worshiped 
as a present deity, and every bystander consults him 
respecting his diseases, his wants, the welfare of his 
absent relations, the offerings to be made for the 
accomplishment of his wishes, and in short everything 
for which superhuman knowledge is supposed to be 
available." In this instance, the mutual covenant is 
represented; the devotee both giving and receiving 
blood, as a means of union. 

On this idea of giving one's self to another, by giv- 
ing of one's blood, it is that the popular tradition was 
based, that witches and sorcerers covenanted with Sa- 
tan by signing a compact in their own blood. And 
again it was in recognition of the idea that two natures 
were inter-united in such a covenant, that the compact 
was sometimes said to be signed in Satan's blood. 

Among the many women charged with witchcraft in 
England by the famous Matthew Hopkins, the " witch - 
finder " in the middle of the seventeenth century, was 
one, at Yarmouth, of whom it is reported, that her 
first temptation came to her when she went home from 
her place of employment discouraged and exasperated 
by her trials. " That night when she was in bed, she 
heard a knock at the door, and going to her window, 
she saw (it being moonlight) a tall black man there : 
and asked what he would have ? He told her that she 
was discontented, because she could not get work ; and 


that he would put her into a way that she should 
never want anything. On this she let him in, and 
asked him what he had to say to her. He told her he 
must first see her hand ; and taking out something like 
a penknife, he gave it a little scratch, so that a little 
blood followed ; a scar being still visible when she told 
the story. Then he took some of the blood in a pen, 
and pulling a book out of his pocket, bid her write 
her name; and when she said she could not, he said 
he would guide her hand. When this was done, he 
bid her now ask what she would have." l In signing 
with her own blood, she had pledged her very life to 
the "tall black man." 

Cotton Mather, in his "Wonders of the Invisible 
World/* cites a Swedish trial for witchcraft, where the 
possessed children, who were witnesses, said that the 
witches, at the trysting-place where they were observed, 
were compelled "to give themselves unto the devil, 
and vow that they would serve him. Hereupon they 
cut their fingers, and with blood writ their names in 
his book." In some cases "the mark of the cut finger 
was [still] to be found." Moreover, the devil gave 
meat and drink both to the witches and to the chil- 
dren they brought with them. Again, Mather cites 
the testimony of a witness who had been invited to 
covenant with the Devil, by signing the Devil's book. 

1 Cited in Benson's Remarkable Trials and Notorioits Characters, p. II. 


*' Once, with the book, there was a pen offered him, 
and an inkhorn with liquor in it that looked like 
blood." x Another New England writer on witchcraft 
says that " the witch as a slave binds herself by vow, 
to believe in the Devil, and to give him either body or 
soul, or both, under his handwriting, or some part of 
his blood." 2 

It is, evidently, on this popular tradition, that Goethe's 
Faust covenants in blood with Mephistopheles. 


" But one thing ! accidents may happen ; hence 
A line or two in writing grant, I pray." 


" Spirit of evil ! what dost thou require t 
Biass, marble, parchment, paper, dost desire? 
Shall I with chisel, pen, or graver, write ? 
Thy choice is free; to me 'Us all the same." 


A sciap is for our compact good. 
Thou under-signest merely with a drop of blood." 

Blood is a juice of very special kind." * 
Even "within modern memory in Europe," there 
have been traces of the primitive rite of covenanting 

1 Cited in Brake's The Witchcraft Delusion in New England. I., 
187 ; II., 214. 

8 Faust> Swanwick's translation, Part I., lines 1360-1386. 


with God by the proffer of one's blood. In the Rus- 
sian province of Esthonia, he who would observe this 
rite, " had to draw drops of blood from his fore finger," 
and at the same time to pledge himself in solemn cove- 
nant with God. " I name thee [I invoke thee] with 
my blood, and [I] betroth thee [I entrust myself to 
thee] with my blood/' was the form of his covenant- 
ing. Then he who had given of his blood in self-sur- 
rendering devotedness, made 1 his confident supplica- 
tions to God with whom he had thus covenanted ; and 
his prayer in behalf of all his possessions was : " Let 
them be blessed through my blood and thy might" l 

Thus, in ancient Egypt, in ancient Canaan, in an- 
cient Mexico, in modern Turkey, in modern Russia, 
in modern India, and in modern Otaheite ; in Africa, 
in Asia, in America, in Europe, and in Oceanica: 
Blood-giving was life-giving. Life-giving was love- 
showing. Love-showing was a heart-yearning after 
union in love and in life and in blood and in very being. 
That was the primitive thought in the primitive relig- 
ions of all the world. 

1 SeeTylor's Primitive Culture^ II., 402; citing Boeder's Ehsten 
AberglSubische Gebraitche, 4. 






APART from, and yet linked with, the explicit proofs 
of the rite of blood-covenanting throughout the prim- 
itive world, there are many indications of the root- 
idea of this form of covenanting ; in the popular esti- 
mate of blood, and of all the marvelous possibilities 
through blood-transference. These indications, also, 
are of old, and from everywhere. 

To go back again to the earlier written history of 
the world ; it is evident that the ancient Egyptians 
recognized blood as in a peculiar sense life itself; and 
that they counted the heart, as the blood-source and 
the blood-centre, the symbol and the substance of 
life. In the Book of the Dead, the deceased speaks 
of his heart or his blood-fountain as his life ; and 
as giving him the right to appear in the presence of 
the gods : " My heart was my mother ; my heart was 
my mother ; my heart was my being on earth ; placed 



within me ; returned to me by the chief gods, placing 
me before the gods " l [in the presence of the gods]. 
In the process of embalming, the heart was always 
preserved with jealous care; 2 and sometimes it was 
embalmed by itself in a sepulchral vase. 3 It was the 
heart as the life, which is the blood that seems to 
have been put into the scales of the divine Judge for 
the settling of the soul's destiny; 4 according to all the 
Egyptian pictures of the judgment Throughout the 
Book of the Dead, and in all the sacred teachings and 
practices of the ancient Egyptians, with reference to 
human life and human destiny, the heart is obviously 
recognized as the analogon of blood, and blood as the 
analogon of life. Moreover, the life, which is repre- 
sented by the blood and by the heart, appears to be 
counted peculiarly the gift and the guarded treasure 
of Deity, and as being in itself a resemblance to, if 
not actually a part of, the divine nature. 5 

1 JSgyfl's jPfa-f, V. 1 88. 

2 This is illustrated by Ebeis, in his romance of " Uartlft ;" whore 
the suigcon, Nebsecht, finds such difficulty in obtaining a human heart, 
in order to its anatomical study. See, also, Birch's statement, in /fey/VV 
Place t V., 135, and Pierret'b Diet. d'Arch. &$ypt , s.v. "Cuw." 

3 Anc. Egypt., Ill , 472, note 6. * //;;>/., ITT., 466, note 3. 

5 In the Book of the Dead, Chapter xxxvi. tells How a I'eison 1m 
his Heart made (01 given) to him in the Hades.' 1 And in preparing 
the mummy, a scarabaeus, a symbol of the creative or life giving #o<! 
was put in the place of the heart. (See Rubric, chapter xxx,, Hook of 
the Dead; Anc. Egypt, III., 346,486; also, note in Vattfa, I., 305 f,). 


Even of the lower animals, the heart and the heart's 
blood were counted sacred to the gods, and were not 
to be eaten by the Egyptians ; as if life belonged only 
to the Giver of life, and, when passing out from a 
lower organism, must return, or be returned, only to 
its original Source, 

When the soul stands before the forty-two judges, 
in the Hall of the Two Truths, to give answer con- 
cerning its sins, one of its protesting avowals, as 
recorded in the Book of the Dead, is : " Oh Glowing 
Feet, coming out of the darkness ! I have not eaten 
the heart;" 1 In my earthly life-course, I have not 
committed the sacrilege of heart-eating. Yet, of the 
sacrificial offering of " a red cow," as prescribed in the 
Book of the Dead, " of the blood squeezed from the 
heart, one hundred drops," 2 make a portion for the 
gods. In one of the tombs of Memphis, there is 
represented a scene of slaughtering animals. As the 
heart of an animal is taken out, the butcher who holds 
it says, as shown by the accompanying hieroglyphics, 
" Take care of this heart ; " 8 as if that were a por- 
tion to be guarded sacredly. " Keep thy heart with 
all diligence [or, as the margin has it, " above all thou 
j^uardest"]; for out of it are the issues of life." 4 It 
may, indeed, have been from the lore of Egypt that 

1 JSfttffs Place, V., 14. 2 Itnd.> V., 283. 

*Anc. Egypt., II., 27, note. 4 Prov. 4: 23. 


Solomon obtained this proverb of the ages, to pass it 
onward to posterity with his stamp of inspiration. 

It would even seem that the blood of animals was 
not allowed to be eaten by the Egyptians ; although 
there has been a question at that point, among 
Egyptologists. Wilkinson thinks that they did em- 
ploy it in cooking; 1 but this is only his inference 
from a pictured representation of the blood being 
caught in a vessel, when an animal is slaughtered for 
the table. On the other hand, that same picture shows 
the vessel of blood being borne away, afterwards, on 
uplifted hands; 2 as it would have been if it were 
designed for a sacred libation. Again, the other 
picture, reported by Birch as showing the butcher's 
care of the heart, represents the blood as ** collected 
in a jar with a long spout " ; such as was used for 
sacred libations. 3 It is evident that blood was offered 
to the gods of Egypt in libation, as was also wine. 4 
Indeed, the common Egyptian word for blood ( w* ^ 
senf) is regularly followed by the determinative of 
outpouring (/^). The word tcshcr, " red/' is some- 
times used as a synonym forscnf; in this case (and in 
this only) the determinative of outpouring is added to 

c. Egypt., II., 27, 31 ; IIL, 409. 
2 Ibid., II., 32, Plate No. 300. * ////</., II., 37 note ** 

*Comp. 7&V/., III., 409, 416 f. 


the hieroglyphics for tcsher. Moreover, among the 
forty-two judges, before whom the dead appears, he 
who is " Eater of Blood " comes next in order before 
the "Eater of Hearts", 1 as if blood-eating, like 
heart-eating, were a prerogative of the gods. 

If proof were still wanting that,, in ancient Egypt, it 
was the heart which was deemed the epitome of life, 
and that the heart had this pre-eminence because of its 
being the fountain of blood which is life that proof 
would be found in " The Tale of the Two Brothers " ; 
a stoiy that was prepared in its present form by a 
tutor of the Pharaoh of the exodus, while the latter 
was yet heir presumptive to the throne. This story 
has been the subject of special study by De Rouge, 
Chabas, Maspero, Brugsch, Birch, Goodwin, and Le 
Page Renouf. It is from the latter's translation that 
I draw my facts for this reference. 3 

Anpu and Bata were brothers. Bata's experience 
with the wife of Anpu was like that of Joseph in the 
house of Potiphar. He was true, like Joseph. Like 
Joseph, he was falsely accused, his life was sought, 
and his innocence was vindicated. Then, for his 
better protection, Bata took his heart out from his 
body, and put that in a safe place, while he made his 
home near it. To his brother he had said : 

" I shall take my heart, and place it in the top of 

1 See Egypt's Place, V., 254. a Rec. of Past, II., 137-152. 


the flower of the cedar, and when the cedar is cut 
down it will fall to the ground Thou shalt come to 
seek it If thou art seven years in search of it, let not 
thy heart be depressed, and when thou hast found it 
thou shalt place it in a cup of cold water. Oh, then I 
shall live (once more)." 

After a time the cedar, through the treachery of 
Bata's false wife, was cut down. As it fell, with the 
heart of Bata, the latter dropped dead. For more 
than three years Anpu sought his brother's heart; 
then he found it "He brought a vessel of cold water, 
dropped the heart into it, and sat down according to 
his daily wont. But when the night was come, the 
heart absorbed the water. Bata [whose body seems 
to have been preserved like a mummy all this time] 
trembled in all his limbs, and continued looking at his 
elder brother, but his heart was faint Then Anpu 
took the vessel of cold water which his brother's 
heart was in. And when the latter [Bata] had drunk it 
up, his heart rose in its place ; and he became as he had 
been before. Each embraced the other, and each one 
of them held conversation with his companion/' 

The revivified Bata was transformed into a sacred 
bull, an Apis. That bull, by the treachery, again, of 
Bata's wife, was killed. " And as they were killing 
him, and he was in the hands of his attendants, he 
shook his neck, and two drops of blood fell upon the 


two door-posts of His Majesty [in whose keeping was 
the sacred bull] ; one was on the one side of the great 
staircase of His Majesty, the other upon the other 
side; and they grew up into two mighty persea trees, 
each of which stood alone." Thus the blood was 
both life and life-giving, and the heart was as the 
very soul of its possessor, in the estimation of the 
ancient Egyptians. 

In primitive America also, as in ancient Egypt, the 
blood and the heart were held pre-eminently sacred. 
Among the Dakotas, in North America, the heart of 
the deer, and of other animals killed in hunting, was 
offered to the spirits. 1 In Central America and in South 
America, it was the blood and the heart of the human 
victims offered in sacrifice which were counted the 
peculiar portion of the gods. 2 In description of a 
human sacrifice among the Nahuas of Central Amer- 
ica, 3 a Mexican historian says : " The high priest then 
approached, 'and with a heavy knife of obsidian cut 
open the miserable man's breast Then, with a dex- 
terity acquired by long practice, the sacrificer tore 
forth the yet palpitating heart, which he first offered 

1 See Lynd's Hist of Dakolas, p. 73. 

2 See citations fiom vaiious original sources, in Bancroft's Native 
Races of Pacific Coast \ II , 306-310, 707-709. 

8 The Nahuas, were " skilled ones," or " experts," who had emigrated 
Noithward from the Maya land (R6ville's Native Religions, p 20). 


to the sun, and then threw at the feet of the idol. 
Taking it up, he again offered it to the god, and after- 
wards burned it ; preserving the ashes with great care 
and veneration. Sometimes the heart was placed in 
the mouth [of the idol] with a golden spoon. It was 
customary also to anoint the lips of the image and 
the cornices of the door with the victim's blood." l 

Of the method among the Maya nations, 2 south of 
the Gulf of Mexico, a Spanish historian 3 says : " The 
bleeding and quivering heart was held up to the sun, 
and then thrown into a bowl prepared for its reception. 
An assistant priest sucked the blood from the gash in 
the chest, through a hollow cane ; the end of which 
he elevated towards the sun, and then discharged its 
contents into a plume-bordered cup held by the captor 
of the prisoner just slain. This cup was carried 
around to all the idols in the temples and chapels, be- 
fore whom another blood-filled tube was held up, as 
if to give them a taste of the contents. This cere- 
mony performed, the cup was left at the palace.'* 

Yet another record stands : " The guardian of the 
temple . . . opened the left breast of the victim, 

z CIavigero T s Anc. Hist, of Max., II, 45-49, cited in Bancroft's Na- 
tive Races, II , 307. 

2 The proper centre of the Maya nations lay in Yucatan (R6ville'b 
Native Religions of Mexico and Peru, p. 1 8). 

8 Gomaia, cited m Bancroft's JVativa Races, II., 310 f. 


tore out the heart, and handed it to the high priest, 
who placed it in a small embroidered purse which he 
carried. The four [assisting] priests received the blood 
of the victim in four jicaras or bowls, made from the 
shell of a certain fruit ; and descending, one after the 
other, to the court yard, [they] sprinkled the blood 
with their right hand in the direction of the cardinal 
points [of the compass]. If any blood remained over, 
they returned it to the high priest, who placed it, with 
the purse containing the heart, in the body of the vic- 
tim, through the wound that had been made ; and the 
body was interred in the temple." 1 

Commenting on these customs in Central America, 
Reville the representative comparative-religionist of 
France says : " Here you will recognize that idea, so 
widely spread in the two Americas, and indeed almost 
everywhere amongst uncivilized peoples [nor is it 
limited to the uncivilized], that the heart is the epi- 
tome, so to speak, of the individual his soul in some 
sense so that to appropriate his heart is to appropri- 
ate his whole being." 2 What else than this gave rise 
to the thought of preserving the heart of a hero, or 
of a loved one, as a symbol of the living presence of 
the dead? It was by his heart, that King Robert 

1 Henera, cited in Bancioft's Native JRaces, II., 706 f. 
2 Native Religions of Mexico and Peru (Hibbeit Lectures, 1884), 
p. 43 f. See, also, pp. 45, 46, 82, 99. 


Bruce was to lead his army to the Holy Land ; and 
how many times, in history, have men bequeathed 
their hearts to those dear to them, as the poet Shel- 
ley's heart was preserved by his friends, and by them 
given to Mrs. Shelley. 

In the Greek and Roman sacrifices, it was the blood 
of the victim, which, as the life of the victim, was 
poured out unto the gods, as unto the Author of 
life. 1 Moreover, there is reason for supposing that the 
heart was always given the chief place, as representing 
the very life itself, in the examination and in the 
tasting of the '* entrails " (raM^a, $/*laug?hwi) in 
connection with the sacrifices of those classic peo- 
ples. 2 An indication of this truth is found in a 
statement by Cicero, concerning the sacrifices ut the 
time of the inauguration of C;i\sar: "When he 
[Cossar] was sacrificing on that day in which he first 
sat in the golden chair, and made procession in the 
purple garment, there was no heart among the entrails 
of the sacrificial ox. (Do you think, therefore, that 
any animal which has blood can exist without a heart ?) 
Yet he [Caesar] was not terrified by the phenomenal 
nature of the event, although Spurinna deehirod, that 

1 Sec Pindar's Olympian Octts, Ode x, line 146; Sophodutt'u TrtteMnitr, 
line 766; Virgil's sHneid> Uk, XL, line 8x f. 

* Homer'*, Odyssey, Bk. III., lines it, *2, 461-^3; //W, Hk, H M 
lines 427, 428, 


it was to be feared that both mind [literally ' counsel '] 
and life were about to fail him [Caesar] ; for both of 
these [mind and life] do issue from the heart" l 

Similarly it has been, and to the present day it is, 
with primitive peoples everywhere. Blood libations 
were made a prominent feature in the offerings in 
ancient Phoenicia, 2 as in Egypt. In India, the Brah- 
mans have a saying, in illustration of the claim that 
Vishnu and Siva are of one and the same nature: 
" The heart of Vishnu is Siva, and the heart of Siva 
is Vishnu; and those who think they differ, err." 3 
The Hindoo legends represent the victim's heart as be- 
ing torn out and given to the one whom in life he has 
wronged. 4 In China, at the great Temple of Heaven, 
in Peking, where the emperors of China are supposed 
to have conducted worship without material change 
in its main features for now nearly three thousand 
years, 5 the blood of the animal sacrifice is buried in 
the earth 6 while the body of the sacrificial victim is 
offered as a whole burnt offering. 7 

Cicero's De Dimnatione, Bk. L, chap. 52, g 119. 
2 See Sanchoniathon's icferences to blood libations, in Cory's Ancient 
Fragments, pp. 7 ** 1 6. 

8 See " The Hindu Pantheon," in Birdwood's Indian Arts, p. 96. 

* Frere's Old Dcccan Days, p. 266. 

Williams's Middle Kingdom, I., 194. 

6 Edkins's Religion in China, p. 22. 

7 Williams's Mid. King, I., 76-78. 



The blood is the life ; the heart as the fountain of 
blood is the fountain of life ; both blood and heart are 
sacred to the Author of life. The possession, or the 
gift, of the heart or of the blood, is the possession, or 
the gift, of the very nature of its primal owner. That 
has been the world's thought in all the ages. 


The belief seems to have been universal, not only 
that the blood is the life of the organism in which it 
originally flows, but that in its transfer from one or- 
ganism to another the blood retains its life, and so 
carries with it a vivifyingpower. There are traces of this 
belief in the earliest legends of the Old World, and of 
the New ; in classic story ; and in medical practices as 
well, all the world over, from time immemorial until 
the present day. 

For example, in an inscription from the Egyptian 
monuments, the original of which dates back to the 
early days of Moses, there is a reference to a then an- 
cient legend of the rebellion of mankind against the 
gods; of an edict of destruction against the human 
race; and of a divine interposition for the rescue of 
the doomed peoples. 1 In that legend, a prominent 

J The inscription was first found, in 1875, m & tomb of Sctcc L, 
the father of Rameses II., the Phaiaoh of the oppiessicm. A Inuitila* 
tion of it appeared in the Transactions of the Satiety of Jlifi/fca/ Arch* 


part is given to human blood, mingled with the juice 
of mandrakes 1 instead of wine prepared as a drink 
of the gods, and afterwards poured out again to over- 
flow and to revivify all the earth. And the ancient 
text which records this legend, affirms that it was in 
conjunction with these events that there was the be- 
ginning of sacrifices in the world. 

An early American legend has points of remarka- 
ble correspondence with this one from ancient Egypt. 
It relates, as does that, to a pre-historic destruction of 
the race, and to its re-creation, or its re-vivifying, by 
means of transferred blood. Every Mexican province 

ceology, Vol. 4, Part I. Again it has been found in the tomb of Ra- 
meses III. Its earliest and its latest tianslations were made by M. 
Edouaid Naville, the eminent Swiss Egyptologist. Meantime, Biugsch, 
De Beigmann, Lauth, Lefe"bme, and others, have aided in its elucida- 
tion (See Proceed, of Soc. of Bib Arch., for Maich 3, 1885). 

Is there not a reference to this legend in the Book of the Dead, chapter 
xviii., sixth section ? 

1 Mandiakes, 01 "love-apples," among the ancient Egyptians, as also 
among the Orientals generally, from the days of Jacob (Gen. 30: 14-17) 
until to-day, can ied the idea of promoting a loving union; and the 
Egyptian name for mandiakes tettnut combined the root-woid tet al- 
ready lefeircd to as meaning "arm," or "bracelet," and mut with the 
signification of " attesting," or " confirming." Thus the blood and the 
mandrake juice would be a true assiratum. (See Pierret's Vocabulatre 
Hitroglyphiqtte, p. 723 ) Belief in this plant [the mandrake] is as old 
as history." (Napier's Folk-Low ', p. 90.) See, also, Lang's Custom 
and Myth, pp. 143-155- 


told this story in its own way, says a historian ; but 
the main features of it are alike in all its versions. 

When there were no more men remaining on the 
earth, some of the gods desired the re-creation of man- 
kind ; and they asked help from the supreme deities 
accordingly. They were then told, that if they were 
to obtain the bones or the ashes of the former race, 
they could revivify those remains by their own blood. 
Thereupon Xolotl, one of the gods, descended to the 
place of the dead, and obtained a bone (whether a ri&, 
or not, does not appear). Upon that vestige of hu- 
manity the gods dropped blood drawn from their own 
bodies ; and the result was a new vivifying of mankind l 

An ancient Chaldean legend, as recorded by Berosus, 
ascribes a new creation of mankind to the mixture, by 
the gods, of the dust of the earth with the blood that 
flowed from the severed head of the god Bolus. " On 
this account it is that men are rational, and partake of 
divine knowledge," says Berosus. 2 The blood of the 
god gives them the life and the nature of a god Yet, 
again, the early Phoenician, and the early Greek, the- 
ogonies, as recorded by Sanchoniathon 3 and by Iles- 
iod, 4 ascribe the vivifying of mankind to the outpoured 

1 Mendieta's Hist. Ecd Ind., 77 ff. ; cited in Spencer'* /Av. *SV., II, 
38 ; also Brinton's Myths of the MTU Worht, p. 258. 

2 See Cory's Anc. ft&g* 9 p. 59 f. /&',/., p. 15. 

*Comp. Fabri's Evagatoriunii III,, 218, 


blood of the gods. It was from the blood of Ouranos, 
or of Saturn, dripping into the sea and mingling with 
its foam, that Venus was formed, to become the mo- 
ther of her heroic posterity. "The Orphics, which 
have borrowed so largely from the East," says Le- 
normant, 1 " said that the immaterial part of man, his 
soul [his life], sprang from the blood of Dionysus 
Zagreus, whom . . . Titans had torn to pieces, 
partly devouring his members." 

Homer explicitly recognizes this universal belief in 
the power of blood to convey life, and to be a means 
of revivifying the dead. When Circe sent Odysseus 

" To consult 

The Theban seer, Tiiesias, in the abode 
Of Pluto and the dieaded Proserpine," 

she directed him, in preparation, to 

"Pour to all the dead 
Libations, milk and honey fiist, and next 
Rich wine, and lastly watei ; " 

and after that to slay the sacrificial sheep. But Circe's 
caution was : 

"Draw then the sword upon thy thigh, and sit, 
And .suffer none of all those airy foims 
To touch the blood, until thou first bespeak 
Thcfeias. lie will come, and speedily, 
The leader of the people, and will tell 
What voyage thou must make." 

1 Beginnings of History, p. 52, note. 



Odysseus did as lie was directed. The bloodless 
shades flocked about him, as he sat there guarding the 
life-renewing blood ; but even those dearest to him he 
forbade to touch that consecrated draught 
" And then the soul of Anticlcia came, 
My own dead mothei, daughtci of the king 
Autolycus, large minded Ilei I loft 
Alive, what time 1 sailed fen Tioy, and no\v 
I wept to see hei thcie, and pitied hci, 
And yet forbade hei, though with gnef, to come 
Neai to the blood till I should lust accost 
Tuesias, lie too came, the Theban seei, 
Tuesias, bearing in his hand a wand 
Of gold ; he knew me and bespake me thus : 
* Why, O unhappy moital, hast thou left 
The light of day to come among the dead, 
And to this joyless land ? Go fiom the tiench 
And tuin thy swoid away, that I may diink 
The blood, and speak the word of prophecy.* 
lie spake , withdrawing from the tiench, I thrust 
Into its sheath my silvei -studded sword, 
And, aftei dunking of the <laik red blood, 
The blamele&s piophct tinned to me and said >1 * 

Then came the prophecy from the blood-revivified st*er. 
The wide-spread popular superstition of the vam- 
pire and of the ghoul seems to be an outgrowth of 
this universal belief that transfused blood is re-vivifica- 
tion. The bloodless shades, leaving their graves at 
night, seek renewed life by drawing out the blood of 
*Bayant 1 s Qdyssey> Bkb. x, and xi. 


those who sleep ; taking of the life of the living, to 
supply temporary life to the dead. This idea was 
prevalent in ancient Babylon and Assyria. 1 It has 
shown itself in the Old World and in the New, 2 in all 
the ages ; and even within a little more than a century, 
it has caused an epidemic of fear in Hungary, "result- 
ing in a general disinterment, and the burning or stak- 
ing of the suspected bodies." 3 

An added force is given to all these illustrations of 
the universal belief that transferred blood has a vivify- 
ing power, by the conclusions of modern medical 
science concerning the possible benefits of blood- 
transfusion. 4 On this point, one of the foremost living 
authorities in this department of practice, Dr. Roussel, 
of Geneva, says : " The great vitality of the blood of 
a vigorous and healthy man has the power of improv- 
ing the quality of the patient's blood, and can restore 
activity to the centres of nervous force, and the organs 
of digestion. It would seem that health itself can be 

1 See Sayce's Anc. Emp. of East, p 146. 

2 Among the ancient Peruvians, theie was>said to be a class of devil- 
woihhipcrb, known a& cane hits. 01 rumapnncuc, the membeis of which 
huckccl the blood fiom sleeping youth, to their own nourishing and to 
the speedy dying away of the poisons thus depleted. (See Arriaga's 
Extirpation de la Idolatria del Pint, p 21 f.; cited in Spencer's JOes. 
Soc. t II., 48.). Sec, also, Ral&ton's Jlmsian Folk Tales, pp. 311-328. 

8 Faner's Primitive Manners and Customs > p. 23 f. 
4 The primitive belief seems to have had a sound basis in scientific fact. 


transfused with the blood of a healthy man " ; l death 
itself being purged out of the veins by inflowing life. 
And in view of the possibilities of new life to a dying 
one, through new blood from one full of life, this 
writer insists that " every adult and healthy man and 
woman should be ready to offer an arm, as the natural 
and mysteriously inexhaustible source of the wonder- 
working elixir." 2 Blood-giving can be life-giving. 
The measure of one's love may, indeed, in snch a case, 
be tested by the measure of his yielded blood. 1 * 

Roussel says that blood transfusion was practised 
by the Egyptians, the Hebrews, and the Syrians, in 
ancient times; 4 and he cites the legend that, before 
Naaman came to Elisha to be healed of his leprosy,' 5 
his physicians, in their effort at his cure, took the blood 
from his veins, and replaced it with other blood. 
Whatever basis of truth there maybe in this legend, it 
clearly gained its currency through the prevail ing con- 
viction that new blood is new life. There certainly is 
ample evidence that baths of human blood were an- 
ciently prescribed as a cure for the doath-represcnting 
leprosy ; as if in recognition of this root idea of the 
re-vivifying power of transferred blood. 

Pliny, writing eighteen centuries ago concerning 

1 Transfusion of Human Blood, pp. 2-4, * //>/</., p. 5- 

8 See pages 85-88, supra. * Tramf. of />VW, p. 5. 

5 2 Kings 5 : 1-14. 


leprosy, or elephantiasis, says 1 : " This was the peculiar 
disease of Egypt ; and when it fell upon princes, woe 
to the people ; for, in the bathing chambers, tubs were 
prepared, with human blood, for the cure of it" Nor 
was this mode of life-seeking confined to the Egyptians. 
It is said that the Emperor Constantine was restrained 
from it only in consequence of a vision from heaven. 2 

In the early English romance of Amys and Amylion, 
one of these knightly brothers-in-arms consents, with 
his wife's full approbation, to yield the lives of his two 
infant children, in order to supply their blood for a 
bath, for the curing of his brother friend's leprosy. 3 In 
this instance, the leprosy is cured, and 'the children's 
lives are miraculously restored to them ; as if in proof 
of the divine approbation of the loving sacrifice. 

It is shown, indeed, that this belief in the life-bring- 
ing power of baths of blood to the death-smitten 
lepers, was continued into the Middle Ages; and that 
it finally " received a check from an opinion gradually 
gaining ground, that only the blood of those would 
be efficacious, who offered themselves freely and vol- 
untarily for a beloved sufferer." 4 There is something 

l Rst. Nat. xxvi, 5. 

a See Notes and Queries, foi Feb. 28, 1857 ; with citation from Soane's 
JNkttt Curiosities of Literature, I., 72. 

3 Ibid. / also Milk's Histoiy of Chivalry, chap. IV., note. 
4 See citation fiom Soane, in Notes and Queries, supia. 


very suggestive in this thought of the truest potency 
of transferred life through transferred blood ! It is this 
thought which finds expression and illustration in 
Longfellow's Golden Legend. In the castle of Vauts- 
berg on the Rhine, Prince Henry is sick with a strange 
and hopeless malady. Lucifer appears to him in the 
garb of a traveling physician, and tells him of the only 
possible cure for his disease, as prescribed in a venera- 
ble tome : 

" ' The only lemedy that icmains 
Is the blood that flows fiom a maiden's veins, 
Who of hci own fice will shall die, 
And give hci life a& the price of yours I ' 
That is the strangest of all ernes, 
And one, I think, you will ncvei tiy ; 
The pi ascription you may well put by. 
As something impossible to find 
Befoxe the woild itself shall end! " 

Elsie, the lovely daughter of a peasant in the Odcti- 
wald, learns of the Prince's need, and declares she will 
give her blood for his cure. In her chamber by night, 
her self-surrendering prayer goes up : 

"'If my feeble payer can xcach thcc, 
my Savioui, I beseech thee, 
Even as thou hast died foi me, 
Moie sinccicly 

Let me follow where thou Icadcst, 
Let me, bleeding as thou blccdest, 


Die, if dying I may give 
Life lo one who asks to live, 
And moie neaily, 
Dying thus, icsemble thee !' " 

Her father, Gottlieb, consents to her life-surrender, 
saying to the Prince : 

"'As Abiaham offered, long ago, 

His son unto the Lord, and even 
v The Eveilasting Father in heaven 

Gave his, as a lamb unto the slaughter, 
So do I offer up my daughter.' " 

And Elsie adds : 

" My life is little, 
Only a cup of water, 
But puie and limpid. 
Take it, Piince! 
Let it refiesh you, 
Let it icstoie you. 
It is given willingly 
It is given fieely ; 
May God bless the gift !'" 

The proffered sacrifice is interfered with before its con- 
summation ; but its purposed method shows the esti- 
mate which was put, from of old, on voluntarily yielded 
life for life. 

There is said to be an Eastern legend somewhat 
like the story of Amys and Amylion ; with a touch 
of the ancient Egyptian and Mexican legends already 
cited "The Arabian chronicler speaks of a king, 


who, having lost a faithful servant by his transforma- 
tion into stone, is told that he can call his friend back 
to life, if he is willing to behead his two children, and 
to sprinkle the ossified figure with their blood, lie 
makes up his mind to the sacrifice ; but as he ap- 
proaches the children with his drawn sword, the will 
is accepted by heaven for the deed, and he suddenly 
sees the stone restored to animation." * This story, in 
substance, (only with the slaying and the resuscitating 
of the children, as in the English romance,) appears in 
Grimm's folk-lore tales, under the title of " Faithful 
John"; 2 but whether its origin was in the Kast or in 
the North, or in both quarters, is not apparent. Its 
reappearance East, North, and West, is all the more 

In the romances of King Arthur and Ins knights, 
there is a story of a maiden daughter of King Velli- 
nore, a sister of Sir Percivale, who befriends the noble 
Sir Galahad, and then accompanies him and his com- 
panions on their way to the castle of, and 
beyond, in their search for the Holy Grail. 

"And again they went on to another castle, from 
which came a band of knights, who told them of the 
custom of the place, that every maiden who passed by 

1 Citation from " Saturday Review," for Feb. 14, 1857, iti Nates and 
Queries, supra. 

9 See Grimm's Household Taks^ L, 23-30. 


must yield a dish full of her blood. ' That shall she 
not do/ said Galahad, ' while I live ' ; and fierce was 
the struggle that followed ; and the sword of Galahad, 
which was the sword of King David, smote them down 
on every side, until those who remained alive craved 
peace, and bade Galahad and his fellows come into the 
castle for the night ; ' and on the morn/ they said, ' we 
dare say ye will be of one accord with us, when ye 
know the reason for our custom/ So awhile they 
rested, and the- knights told them that in the castle 
there lay a lady sick to death, who might never gain 
back her life, until she should be anointed with the 
blood of a pure maiden who was a king's daughter. 
Then said Percivale's sister, ' I will yield it, and so shall 
I get health to my soul, and there shall be no battle 
on the morn.' And even so was it done ; but the blood 
which she gave was so much that she might not live ; 
and as her strength passed away, she said to Percivale, 
' I die, brother, for the healing of this lady.' . . . Thus 
was the lady of the castle healed ; and the gentle mai- 
den, [Percivale's sister,] . . . died." 1 

In the old Scandinavian legends, there are indica- 
tions of the traditional belief in the power of trans- 
ferred life through a bath of blood. Siegfried, or Sig- 
urd, a descendant of Odin, slew Fafner, a dragon-shaped 
guardian of ill-gotten treasure. In the hot blood of 

1 Cox and Jones's Popular Romances of the Middle Ages, pp. 85-87. 



that dragon he bathed himself, and so took on, as it 
were, an outer covering of new life, rendering himself 
sword-proof, save at a single point where a leaf of the 
linden-tree fell between his shoulders, and shielded the 
flesh from the life-imparting blood. 1 On this incident 
it is, that the main tragedy in the Nibelungcn Lied 
pivots; where Siegfried's wife, Kricmhild, tells the 
treacherous Hagan of her husband's one vulnerable 
point : 

" Said she, My husband J s dating, and thereto Stout of limb ; 
Of old, when on the mountain he slew the duxgon glim, 
In its blood he bathed him, and thence no moie can feel, 
In his charmed pei&on, the deadly dint of steel. 

" As fiom the diagon's death-wounds gushed out theciimson gore, 
With the smoking tonent, the wamor washed him o'er. 
A leaf then 'twixt his .shouldcis fell from the linden boujh ; 
Theie, only, steel can hann him ; fox that I tremble now." a 

Even among the blood-reverencing Brahmans of 
India there are traces of this idea, that life is to be 
guax-ded by the outpoured blood of others. In the 
famous old work, " Kalila wa-Dimna," there is the 
story of a king, named Bcladh, who had a vision in 
the night, which so troubled him that he sought coun- 
sel of the Brahmans. Their advice was, that he 
should sacrifice his favorite wife, his best loved son, 
1 Cox and Jones's Romances of tht Mitfdlt sttfrs, p. 292. 
2 Lett&om's Nibd. Lied, p. 158. 


his nephew, and his dearest friend, in conjunction 
with other valued offerings to the gods. " It will be 
necessaiy for you, O King," they said, "when you 
have put to death the persons we have named to you, 
to fill a cauldron with their blood, and sit upon it; 
and when you get up from the cauldron, we, the 
Brahmans, assembled from the four quarters of the 
kingdom, will walk around you, and pronounce our 
incantations over you, and we will spit upon you, and 
wipe off from you the blood, and will wash you in 
water and sweet-oil, and then you may return to the 
palace, trusting in the protection of heaven against the 
danger which threatens you.'* l 

Here the king's offering to the gods was to be of 
that which was dearest to him ; and the bath of blood 
was to prove to him a cover of life. King Beladh 
wisely said that, if that were the price of his safety, he 
was ready to die. He would not prolong his life at 
such a cost But the story shows the primitive 
estimate of the life-giving power 'of blood among the 

In China, also, blood has its place as a life-giving 
agency. A Chinese woman, on the Kit-ie River, tells 
a missionaiy of her occasional seasons of frenzy, 
under the control of spirits, and of her ministry of 
blood, at such seasons, for the cure of disease. " Every 

l &ahla wa-Dimna, p. 315-319. 


year when there is to be a pestilence, or when cholera 
is to prevail, she goes into this frenzy, and cuts her 
tongue with a knife, letting some drops of her blood 
fall into a hogshead of water. This [homceopathically- 
treated] water the people drink as a specific against 
contagion." Its sacred blood is counted a shield of life, 
" With the rest of the blood, she writes charms, which 
the people paste [as words of life] upon their door- 
posts, or wear upon their persons, as preventives of 
evil." 1 

Receiving new blood as a means of receiving new 
life, seems to have been sought interchangeably, in 
olden time, in various diseases, by blood lavations, by 
blood drinking, and by blood transfusion. It is 
recorded that, in 1483, King Louis XL, of France, 
struggled for life by drinking the blood of young 
children, as a means of his revivifying. " Every day 
he grew worse," it is said ; " and the medicines profited 
him nothing, though of a strange character ; for he 
vehemently hoped to recover by the human blood 
which he took and swallowed from certain children." 2 
Again there is a disputed claim, that, in 1492, a Jewish 
physician endeavored to save the life of Pope Innocent 
VIII, by giving him in transfusion the blood of three 

1 Ficlcle's Pagoda Sfiatfowt, p. 88. 

2 Cfwtigues de Franu; I$i6, fcuillci c c i j, cited from Soanc, in 
and Queries, supia, 


young men successively. The Pope was not recov- 
ered, but the three young men lost their lives in the 
experiment. 1 Yet blood transfusion as a means of 
new life to the dying was not always a failure, even in 
former centuries; for the record stands, that "at 
Frankfort, on the Oder, the surgeons Balthazar, Kauf- 
man, and Purmann, healed a leper, in 1683, bypassing 
the blood of a lamb into his veins." 2 

Even to-day, in South Africa, " when the Zulu king 
is sick, his immediate personal attendants, or valets, 
are obliged to allow themselves to be wounded ; that 
a portion of their blood may be introduced into the 
king's circulation, and a portion of his into theirs/' s 
In this plan, the idea seems to be, that health may 
have power over disease, and that death may be 
swallowed up in life, by equalizing the blood of the 
one who is in danger, and of the many who are in 
strength and safety. Moreover, among the Kafirs 
those who are still in health are sometimes " washed 
in blood to protect them against wounds " ; 4 as if an 
outer covering of life could be put on, for the protec- 

1 Roussel's Trans, of Blood, p. 6. A different version of this story- 
is given, in Biuy's Histoire des 2 J apes, IV., 278; but the other version is 
supported by two independent sources, in Infessura Dtanum, and 
J&urchardi Diarium. See Notes and Queries, 5th Senes, III., 496, 
and IV., 38 ; also Hare's Walks in Rome, p. 590. 

2 Diet. Med. ct Chirurg. Prat., Art. " Transfusion." 

8 Shooter's Kafirs of Natal, p. 1 17. <<Ibid., p. 216. 


tion of their life within. Transfused human blood is 
also said to be a common prescription of the medicine- 
men of Tasmania, for the cure of disease. 1 

And so it would appear, that, whatever may be its 
basis in physiological science, the opinion has pre- 
vailed, widely and always, that there is a vivifying 
power in transferred blood ; and that blood not only 
represents but carries life. 


It was a primeval idea, of universal sway, that the 
taking in of another's blood was the acquiring of 
another's life, with all that was best in that other's 
nature. It was not merely that the taking away 
of blood was the taking away of life ; but that the 
taking in of blood was the taking in of life, and of all 
that that life represented. Here, again, the heart, as 
the fountain of blood, and so as the centre and source 
of life, was pre-eminently the agency of transfer in the 
acquiring of a new nature. 

Herodotus tells us of this idea in the far East, twenty- 
four centuries ago. When a Scythian, he said, killed 
his first man in open warfare, he drank in his blood 
as a means of absorbing his fairly acquired life ; and 
the heads of as many as he slew, the Scythian carried 

1 Berwick's Daily Life and Origin of Tasmatnam, p. 89 ; cited in 
Spencer's Ues. Sot., III., 43, 


in triumph to the king; 1 as the American Indian 
bears away the scalps of his slain, to-day. Modern 
historians, indeed, show us other resemblances than 
this between the aboriginal American and the an- 
cient Scythian. 

The Jesuit founder of the Huron Mission to the 
American Indians, " its truest hero, and its greatest 
martyr," was Jean de Brebeuf. After a heroic life 
among a savage people, he was subjected to frightful 
torture, and to the cruelest death. His character had 
won the admiration of those who felt that duty to their 
gods demanded his martyrdom ; and his bearing un- 
der torture exalted him in their esteem, as heroic be- 
yond compare. " He came of a noble race," says 
Parkman, 2 "the same [race], it is said, from which 
sprang the English Earls of Arundel ; but never had 
the mailed barons of his line confronted a fate so ap- 
palling, with so prodigious a constancy. To the last 
he refused to flinch, and ' his death was an astonish- 
ment to his murderers.' " " We saw no part of his 
body/' wrote an eye-witness, 3 *' from head to foot, 
which was not burned [while he was yet living], even 
to his eyes, in the sockets of which these wretches 
had placed live coals." Such manhood as he dis- 
played under these tortures, the Indians could appre- 

l /Iist. 9 IV , 64, *Jesmt* in No Am. m ijth 389 f. 

8 Ragueneau ; cited by Paikman. 


date. Such courage and constancy as his, they longed 
to possess for themselves. When, therefore, they per- 
ceived that the brave and faithful man of God was 
finally sinking into death, they sprang toward him, 
scalped him, "laid open his breast, and came in a 
crowd to drink the blood of so valiant an enemy ; 
thinking to imbibe with it some portion of his cour- 
age. A chief then tore out his heart, and devoured it." 
Not unlike this has been a common practice among 
the American Indians, in the treatment of prisoners of 
war. "If the victim had shown courage/' again says 
Parkman, concerning the Hurons, " the heart was first 
roasted, cut into small pieces, and given to the young 
men and boys, who devoured it, to increase their own 
courage." 1 So, similarly, with the Iroquois. 2 And 
Burton says of the Dakotas : 3 " They are not canni- 
bals, except when a warrior, after slaying a foe, eats, 
porcupine-like, the heart or liver, with the idea of in- 
creasing his own courage." Schomburgk, writing 
concerning the natives of British Guiana, says : "In 
order to increase their courage, and [so their] con- 
tempt of death, the Caribs were wont to cut out the 
heart of a slain enemy, dry it on the fire, powder it, 
and mix the powder in their drink." 4 

1 Jesuits in No. Am^ Introduction, p. xxxix. 2 ////</., p, 250. 

8 City of the Sainh, p. 117, See o3bo Appendix. 
^Reism in Brit. Gwan., II., 430 , cited in Spencei's Iks. Av.,VI., 36. 


The native Australians find, it is said, an inducement 
to bloodshed, in their belief like that of the ancient 
Scythians that the life, or the spirit, of the first man 
whom one slays, enters into the life of the slayer, and 
remains as his helpful possession thereafter. 1 The 
Ashantee fetishmen, of West Africa, apparently acting 
on a kindred thought, make a mixture of the hearts 
of enemies, mingled with blood and consecrated herbs, 
for the vivifying of the conquerors. "All who have 
never before killed an enemy eat of the preparation ; 
it being believed that if they did not, their energy would 
be secretly wasted by the haunting spirits of their de- 
ceased foes." 2 The underlying motive of the bloody 
" head-hunting " in Borneo, is the Dayak belief, that the 
spirits of those whose heads are taken are to be subject 
to him who does the decapitating. The heads are pri- 
marily simply the proof like the Indian's scalps that 
their owner has so many lives absorbed in his own. 3 

A keen observer of Fellaheen life in Palestine has 
reported : 4 " There is an ugly expression used among 

1 Trans, of Ethn Soc. new series, III., 240, cited in Spencer's Des. 
Soc,lll., 36. 

2 Beecham>& Ashantee and the Gold Coast, p. 211 j cited in Spencei's 
Des Soc., IV , 33. 

3 See Tyler's Primitive Culture, I., 459 ; al&o Bock's Head Hunters 
of Borneo, passim. 

*Mis. Finn's "Fellaheen of Palestine" in Surv. of West. PaL 
" Special Fapeis," p, 360. 


the fellaheen of South Palestine, in speaking of an 
enemy slain in war 'Dhabbahhtho bisn&ny ' (' I slew 
him with my teeth ') l ; and it is said that there have 
been instances of killing in battle in this fashion by 
biting at the throat. In the Nablous district (Samaria), 
where the people are much more ferocious, the expres- 
sion is, ' I have drunk his blood ' ; but that is under- 
stood figuratively." 

An ancient Greek version of the story of Jason, 
telling of that hero's treatment of the body of Apsyr- 
tos whom he had slain says : " Thrice he tasted the 
blood, thrice [he] spat it out between his teeth ; " and a 
modern collator informs us that the scholiast here finds 
"the description of an archaic custom, popular among 
murderers." 2 This certainly corresponds with the Sem- 
itic phrases lingering among the Fellaheen of Palestine. 
In the old German epic, the Nibelungen Lied, it is 
told of the brave Burgundians, when they were fight- 
ing desperately in the burning hall of the I Inns, that 
they were given new courage for the hopeless conflict 
by drinking the blood of their fallen comrades ; which 
" quenched their thirst, and made them fierce/' 8 With 

x This i& Mrs Finn's icmlenng of it; but it should be " 1 MtHJitcd 
him with my teeth." The Aiabic woitl is obviously dhabufw (^*f <3), 
identical with the Hebrew tabhakh (H^T) " to sacrifice." ^ 

2 Lang's Custom and JMyth> p. 95 f. ; also Grimm's Household Tit 
p. Ixvui. 

8 Cox and Jones's JP&J>. JKow. of Mid. Ag?5) p. 310. 


their added life, from the added blood of heroes, they 
battled as never before. 

" It stmng again their sinews, and failing strength renewed. 
This, in her lovei's peison, many a fan lady rued." 2 

Is there not, indeed, a trace of the primitive custom 
thus recognized in all quarters of the globe of 
absorbing the life of a slain one by drinking in his 
blood, in our common phrase, "blood-thirstiness," 
as descriptive of a life-seeker ? That phrase certainly 
gains added force and appropriateness in the light of 
this universal idea. 

It is evident that the wide-spread popular belief in 
nature-absorption through blood-appropriation, has 
included the idea of a tribal absorption of new life in 
vicano2is blood. Alcedo, a Spanish-American writer, 
has illustrated this in his description of the native 
Araucanians of South America. When they have 
triumphed in war, they select a representative prisoner 
for official and vicarious execution. After due prepar- 
ation, they " give him a handful of small sticks and a 
sharp stake, with which they oblige him to dig a hole 
in the ground ; and in this they order him to cast the 
sticks one by one, repeating the names of the principal 
warriors of his country, while at the same time the 
surrounding soldiers load these abhorred names with 
the bitterest execrations. He is then ordered to cover 

2 Lettsom's NibeL Lied, p. 373. 


the hole, as if to bury therein the reputation and valor 
of their enemies, whom he has named. After this 
ceremony, the toqui, or one of his bravest companions 
to whom he relinquishes the honor of the execution, 
dashes out the brains of the prisoner with a club. 
The heart is immediately taken out, and presented 
palpitating to the general, who sucks a little of the 
blood, and passes it to his officers, who repeat in suc- 
cession the same ceremony." A And in this way the life 
of the conquered tribe passes, symbolically, into the 
tribal life of the conquerors. 

Burckhardt was so surprised at a trace of this idea 
in Nubia, that he could hardly credit the information 
concerning it; "although several persons asserted it 
to be a fact," he says; and he "heard no one contra- 
dict it." 2 As he learned it: "Among the Hallenga, 
who draw their origin from Abyssinia, a horrible cus- 
tom is said to attend the revenge of blood. When 
the slayer has been seized by the relatives of the de- 
ceased, a family feast is proclaimed, at which the mun 
dercr is brought into the midst of them, bound upon 
an angareyg ; and while his throat is slowly cut with 
a razor, the blood is caught in a bowl, and handed 
round amongst the guests ; every one of whom is 

1 Thompson's Abedtfs Geog. and Mist* Dirt, of Awerifti, L, 408 j 
cited in Spencer's DCS. Xot., VI., 19, 

2 Trawls in JVuMa, p. 356. 


bound to drink of it, at the moment the victim breathes 
his last" The forfeited life of the murderer here seems 
to be surrendered to, and formally appropriated by, 
the family, or clan, which he had, to the same extent, 
depleted of character and life. 

A practice not unlike this is reported of the Austra- 
lians, in their avenging the blood of a murdered per- 
son. They devour their victims; who are selected 
from the tribe of the murderer, although they may be 
personally innocent of the murder. The tribe de- 
pleted by the murder replaces its loss by blood which 
is life from the tribe of the murderer. Indeed, "when 
any one of a tribe [in New South Wales] dies a nat- 
ural death, it is usual to avenge [or to cancel] the loss 
of the deceased by taking blood from one or other of 
his friends." 1 In this way, the very life and being of 
those whose blood is taken, go to restore to the be- 
reaved ones the loss that death has brought to them. 

Strange as this idea may seem to us, its root-thought, 
as a fact, is still an open question in the realm of phy- 
siological science. The claim is positive, in medical 
works, that insanity has been cured by the transfusion 
of a sane man's blood; 2 that a normal mind has been 

1 Tram, of Ethn. Soc.,Tl , 246, and Angas's Austr. and New Zeal., I , 
73, 227, 462, cited in Spencei's Des. Soc. Ill , 26. 

2 See Diet. M&d et Chir. /Vrf/, Art. "Transfusion"; also Roussel's 
Trans/, of Blood, pp. 78-88. 



restored, through a normal life gained in new blood. 
Moreover, the question, how far the nature, or the char- 
acteristics, of an organism, are affected, in blood tians- 
fusion, by the nature, or the characteristics, of the 
donor of the transfused blood, is by no means a set- 
tled one among scientists. Referring to a series of 
questions in this line, propounded by Robert Doyle, 
more than two centuries ago, Roussel has said, within 
the past decade: "No one has been able to give any 
positive answers to them, based upon well-conducted 
operations"; and, " they still await solution in 1877, 
as in 1667." l 


Because blood is life, all blood, and any blood, has 
been looked upon as a vehicle of Iransfemxl life. And 
because blood is life, and the heart is a fountain of 
blood, and so is a fountain of life, a touch of blood, 
or, again, the minutest portion of a vital and vivifying 
heart, has been counted capable of transferring life, 
with all that life includes and carries ; just as the merest 
cutting of a vine, or the tiniest seed of the mightiest 
tree, will suffice as the germ of that vine or that tree, 
in a new planting. The blood, or the heart, of the 
lower animals, has been deemed the vehicle of life 
and strength, in its transference ; and a touch from 

i Transf. of Blood, p. lj>. 


either has been counted potent in re-vivifying and in 
improving the receiving organism. 

Thus, for example, Stanley, in the interior of Africa, 
having received " a fine, fat ox as a peace-offering," 
from " the great magic doctor of Vinyata," when mak- 
ing a covenant of blood with him, 1 was requested to 
return the heart of the ox to the donor ; and he ac- 
ceded to this request After this, Stanley's party was 
several times assailed by the Wanyaturu, from the 
neighborhood of Vinyata. Thereupon his ally Mgongo 
Tembo explained, says Stanley, "that we ought not 
to have bestowed the heart of the presented ox upon 
the magic doctor of Vinyata ; as by the loss of that 
diffuser of blood, the Wanyaturu believed we had left 
our own bodies weakened, and would be an easy prey 
to them." 2 

Another modern traveler in Equatorial Africa finds 
fresh bullock's blood counted a means of manhood. 
While the young Masai man is passing his novitiate 
into warrior life, he seeks new strength by taking in 
new blood. Having employed medical means to rid 
his system of the remains of all other diet, says 
Thompson, the novice went to a lonely place with a 
single attendant ; they taking with them a living bul- 
lock. There " they killed the bullock, either with a 
blow from a rungu, or by stabbing it in the back of 
1 See page 20, supra. a Thro. Dark Cont., I., 123-131. 


the neck. They then opened a vein and drank the 
blood fresh from the animal/' After this, the young 
man gorged himself with the bullock's flesh. 1 And 
whenever the Masai warriors "gooff on war-raids they 
also contrive to eat a bullock [after this fashion], by 
way of getting up their courage." 2 

Again, it is said that Arab women in North Africa 
give their male children a piece of the lion's heart to 
eat, to make them courageous. 3 And an English 
traveler in South Africa 4 describing the death of a lion 
shot by his party, says : " Scarcely was the breath out 
of his body than the Caffres rushed up, and each took 
a mouthful of the blood that was trickling from the 
numerous wounds ; as they believe that it is a specific 
which imparts strength and courage to those who par- 
take of it" 

That the transference of life, with all that life car- 
ries, can be made by the simplest blood-anointing, as 
surely as by blood absoq)tion, is strikingly illustrated 
by a custom still observed among the Hill Tribes of 
India. The Bheels are a brave and warlike race of 
mountaineers of Hindustan. They claim to have been, 
formerly, the rulers of all their region ; but, whether 
by defeat in war, or by voluntary concession, to have 

1 Thompson's Thro. Jkfas&i Land, p. 430. * //'/</., p- 452, 

8 Shooloi's Kafirs of Nitfal) notes, p. 399. 

* II, A. L., in Sjwrt ht Afanv f.and$* 


yielded their power to other peoples whom they now 
authorize to rule in their old domain. "The extraor- 
dinary custom, common to almost all the countries [of 
India] that have been mentioned/ 1 says Sir J. Malcolm, 1 
"of the tika, or mark that is put upon the forehead of 
the Rajput prince, or chief, when he succeeds to 
power, being moistened with blood taken from the toe 
or thumb of a Bhill, may be received as one among 
many proofs of their having been formerly in posses- 
sion of the principalities, where this usage prevails. 

. . . The right of giving the blood for this cere- 
mony, is claimed by particular families ; and the be- 
lief, that the individual, from whose veins it is supplied, 
never lives beyond a twelvemonth, in no degree oper- 
ates to repress the zeal of the Bhills to perpetuate an 
usage, which the Rajput princes are, without excep- 
tion, desirous should cease." The Bheels claim that 
the right to rule is vested in their race ; but they trans- 
fer that right to the Rajpoot by a transfer of blood 
which is a transfer of life and of nature. Thus the 
Bheels continue to rule in the person of those who 
have been vivified by their blood. 

So, again, among the ancient Caribs, of South 
America, " ' as soon as a male child was brought into 
the world, he was sprinkled with some drops of his 

1 See Trans. Royal Asiat. Soc. t L, 69 ; cited in Spencer's Des. Soc.> 
V., 26 f. 



father's blood ' ; the father ' fondly believing, that the 
same degree of courage which he had himself dis- 
played, was by these means transmitted to his son.' M1 
Here it is evident that the voluntary transfusion of 
blood is deemed more potent to the strengthening of 
personal character, than is the transmission of blood 
by natural descent. 

In South Africa, among the Amampondo, one of 
the Kaffir tribes, it is customary for the chief, on his 
accession to authority, " to be washed in the blood of 
a near relative, generally a brother, who is put to 
death on the occasion, and his skull used as a recep- 
tacle for his blood/' 2 In order to give more life and 
more character than the ordinary possession to the 
newly elevated chieftain, the family blood is withdrawn 
from the veins of one having less need of it, that it 
may be absorbed by him who can use it more impos- 

In the Yoruba country, in Central Africa, " when a 
beast is sacrificed for a sick man, the blood is sprinkled 
on the wall, and smeared on the patient's forehead, 
with the idea, it is said, of thus transferring to him the 
[divinely] accepted victim's life." Life is life, and 
whether that life be in the blood of one organism or 

s's Hist, of Brit. West Imt., L, 47 ; cited in Spencer's 

Set., VL, 36. 

2 Shooter's A'ttfirs of Natal, p, 2*6, 


of another, of man or of an inferior animal, its trans- 
ference carries with it all that life includes. That 
seems to be the thought in Yoruba ; and, as all life is 
of supernatural origin and preservation, its transference 
can be by a touch as easily as by any other method. 1 


Because blood, as life, belongs to, and, in a peculiar 
sense, represents, the Author of life, blood has been 
counted a means of inspiration. The blood of the 
gods, in myth and legend, and again the blood of 
divinely accepted sacrifices, human and animal, in 
ancient and modern religious rituals, has been relied 
on as the agency whereby the Author of life speaks 
in and through the possessor of that blood. 

The inspiring power of blood is a thought that runs 
all through the early Norseland legends. Thus, Kvaser, 
according to the Scandinavian mythology, was a being 
created by the gods with preternatural intelligence. 
Kvaser traversed the world, teaching men wisdom; 
but he was treacherously murdered by the dwarfs 
Fjalar and Gala. The dwarfs let Kvaser's blood run 
into two cups and a kettle. " The name of the kettle 
is Odroerer, and the names of the cups are Son and 
Bodn. By mixing up his blood with honey, they 

!See Tyler's Prim. Cult., II., 382, referring to Bastion's Psychologic. 


composed a drink of such surpassing excellence, that 
whoever partakes of it acquires the gift of song." 1 
And that was the origin of poetry in the world ; al- 
though there have been a good many imitations of the 
real article since that day. 

So, again, in the Elder Edda, the hero Sigurd killed 
Fafner, at the instigation of Fafncr\s brother Regin. 
Regin cut out the heart of his brother, and gave it to 
Sigurd to roast, while he drank the blood of the mur- 
dered one. Touching the bleeding hcait with his 
fingers, and then putting his fingers into his mouth, 
Sigurd found that he was now able to understand the 
voice of birds; and thenceforward he was a hero 
inspired. 2 Afterwards he gave his bride, Gudrun, 
"to eat of the remnant of Fufnir's heart ; so she grew 
wise and great-hearted." :{ 

Down to the present time, there are those in the 
far East, and in the far West, who seek inspiration by 
blood-drinking. All along the North Pacific coast, 
the shamanism of the native tribes shows itself in a 
craving for blood as a means and as an accompani- 
ment of preternatural frenzy. The chief sorcerer, or 
medicine-man, has his seasons of demoniacal posses- 

1 Sec Amlcison's None Mytkol^ ]>. 247. 

2 /&'<, p. 380; Lettsom's NibcL Lmt, I'refacc, p. U. j Cox ami 
Jones's Pop, ROM. of A fid. -/#% p. 254 f. 

AVw. of AIM* Ages, p. 260; also A7//. /,/<v/, p. x. 


sion, when he can communicate with the powers of 
the air. At such times he is accustomed to spring 
upon the members of his tribe, and bite out from their 
necks or bodies the bleeding flesh, as a help to inspi- 
ration and debauch. None would venture to resist 
these blood-thirsty assaults ; but the scars which result 
are always borne with pride. 1 

Another phase of this universal idea is reported by 
a recent traveler in the Himalayan districts of India ; 
where, as he thinks, the forms of religion ante-date in 
their origin those of Hindooism, or of Brahmanism, 
and " have descended from very early ages." When 
a favor is sought from a local divinity, " it is the chela 
[or primitive seer] who gasps out the commands of 
the dcoty [the ' deity '], as he [the chela] shivers under 
the divine afflatus, and [under] the vigorous applica- 
tion of the soonguly or iron scourge/' But before the 
chela can have " the divine afflatus " he must drink of 
living blood. Thus, this traveler witnessed an appeal 
to the snake-god, Kailung Nag, for fine weather for 
the sowing of the crops. The sacrificial sheep was 
procured by the people ; the ceremonies of wild wor- 
ship, including music, dancing, incense-burning, and 
bodily flagellations, proceeded. "At length, all being 
ready, the head of the victim was struck off with an 

1 See Bancroft's Native Races, III., 150 ; Brinton's Myths of New 
World) p. 274 f, ; Jackson's Alaska, p. 103 f. 


axe. The body was then lifted up by several men, 
and the chela, seizing upon it like a tiger, drank the 
blood as it spurted from the neck. When all the 
blood had been sucked from the carcass, it was thrown 
down upon the ground, amid yells and shouts of ' Kail- 
ung Maharaj ki jail* [ 4 Victory to the great king 
Kailung'j. The dancing was then renewed, and be- 
came more violent, until, after many contortions, the 
chela [now blood-filled] gasped out that the deota ac- 
cepted the sacrifice, and that the season would be fa- 
vorable. This was received with renewed shouts, and 
the chela sank down upon the ground in a state of 
exhaustion." * 

In the folk-lore of Scotland, as representing the 
primitive traditions of Western Europe, there are illus- 
trations of the idea that the blood of the gods was 
communicated to earthly organisms. Thus, a scientific 
antiquarian of Scotland records in this line : " There 
was a popular saying that the robin " the robin red- 
breast " had a drop of God's blood in its veins, and 
that therefore to kill or hurt it was a sin, and that 
some evil would befall any one who did so ; and, con- 
versely, any kindness done to poor robin would be 
repaid in some fashion. Boys did not dare to harry a 
robin's nest 17 On the other hand, the yellow-hammer 

l Chwles F. OMham's " Native Faith* in the Himalaya)!," m The 
Contemporary Review foi April, 1885. 


and the swallow were said, each " to have a drop of 
the Devil's blood in its veins " ; so the one of these 
birds the yellow-hammer was " remorselessly har- 
ried "; and the other the swallow "was feared, and 
therefore let alone/' 1 A similar legendary fear of the 
swallow, and the guarding of his nest accordingly, 
exists in Germany and in China. 2 

Another indication of the belief that human blood 
has a vital connection with its divine source, and is 
under the peculiar oversight of its divine Author, is 
found in the wide-spread opinion that the blood of a 
murdered man will bear witness against the murderer, 
by flowing afresh at his touch ; the living blood cry- 
ing out from the dead body, by divine consent, in tes- 
timony of crime against the Author of life. Ancient 
European literature teems with incidents in the line of 
this " ordeal of touch." 

Thus it was, according to the Nibelungen Lied, that 
Kriemhild fastened upon Hagan the guilt of murder- 
ing her husband Siegfried ; when Hagan and his asso- 
ciates were gathered for the burial of the hero. 

" Firmly they made denial; Kriemhild at once icplied, 
* Whoe'er in this is guiltless, let him this proof abide. 
In sight of all the people let him appioach the bier, 
And so to each beholder shall the plain fcuth appear.' 

1 Napiei's Folk-Lore of the West of Scotland, p. ill f. 
2 Fairei's Prim Man. and Cust , p. 276 f. 


" It is a mighty maivel, winch oft e'en now we spy, 
That, when the blood-stam'd muidcrci comes to the murdeiM nigh, 
The wounds bieak out a-bleeding; then too the same befell, 
And thus could each beholdci the jmlt of I lagan tell. 
The wounds at once burst sti earning, fast as they did before ; 
Those wlio then son owed deeply, now yet lamented moie." l 

Under Christian II, of Denmark, the " Nero of the 
North," early in the sixteenth century, there was a 
notable illustration of this confidence in the power of 
blood to speak for itself. A number of gentlemen 
being together in a tavern, one evening, they fell to 
quarreling, and " one of them was stabbed with a 
poniard. Now the murderer was unknown, by rea- 
son of the number [present] ; although the person 
stabbed accused a pursuivant of the king's who was 
one of the company. The king, to find out the hom- 
icide, caused them all to come together in the stove 
[the tavern], and, standing round the corpse, he com- 
manded that they should, one after another, lay their 
right hand on the slain gentleman's naked breast, 
swearing that they had not killed him. The gentle- 
men did so, and no sign appeared against them. The 
pursuivant only remained, who, condemned before in 
his own conscience, went first of all and kissed the dead 
man's feet But, as soon as he had laid his hand upon 
his breast, the blood gushed forth in abundance, both out 

1 Letlhom's Afifof. Lied, p, 183 ; also Cox and Jones's /'</, AVw/. of 
Mid. Ages, p. 47 f. 


of his wound and his nostrils ; so that, urged by this 
evident accusation, he confessed the murder, and was, by 
the king's own sentence, immediately beheaded." 1 

A striking example of the high repute in which this 
ordeal of touch was formerly held, and of the under- 
lying idea on which its estimate was based, is reported 
from the State Trials of Scotland. It was during the 
trial of Philip Standsfield, in 1688, for the murder of 
his father, Sir James. The testimony was explicit, 
that when this son touched the body, the blood flowed 
afresh, and the son started back in terror, crying out, 
" Lord, have mercy upon me ! " wiping off the blood, 
from his hand, on his clothes. Sir George M'Kenzie, 
acting for the State, at the inquest, said concerning 
this testimony and its teachings : " But they, fully 
persuaded that Sir James was murdered by his own 
son, sent out [with him] some surgeons and friends, 
who having raised the body, did see it bleed miracu- 
lously upon his touching it In which, God Almighty 
himself was pleased to bear a share in the testimonies 
which we produce : that Divine Power which makes 
the blood circulate during life, has oft times, in all 
nations, opened a passage to it after death upon such 
occasions, but most in this case." 2 

1 Benson's Remarkable Trials, p. 94, note. 

2 Cobbett's State Trials, XL, 1371 , cited m Anecdotes of Omens and 
Superstitions, p. 47 f. 



Mr. Henry C. Lea, in his erudite work on Supersti- 
tion and Force, has multiplied illustrations of the 
ordeal of touch, or of "bier-right/' all along the 
later centuries. 1 He recalls that " Shakspeare intro- 
duces it, in King Richard III., where Gloster interrupts 
the funeral of Henry VI., and Lady Anne exclaims : 

* O gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry's wounds 
Open then, congealed mouths, and bleed afresh.' " 

He refers to the fact that it was an old-time Jewish 
custom to ask pardon of a corpse for any offenses 
committed against the living man, laying hold of the 
great toe of the corpse while thus asking ; and if the 
asker had really inflicted any grievous injury on the 
deceased, the body was supposed to signify that fact 
by a copious hemorrhage from the nose? " This, it 
will be observed," he adds, " is almost identical with 
the well-known story which relates that, when Richard 
Coeur-de-Lion hastened to the funeral of his father, 
Henry II., and met the procession at Fontevniud, the 
blood poured from the nostrils of the dead king, 
whose end he had hastened by his disobedience and 
rebellion." Mr. Lea shows that in sonic instances the 
bones of a murdered man are said to have given out 

^ Superstition and /'<v<v, pp. 3x5-323. 

a Cited from Gamal. ben Pedahsjur's Bovk of Jewhk 
p, ir. 


fresh blood when handled by a murderer as long as 
twenty years, or even fifty, after the murder ; and he 
gives ample evidence that a belief in this power of 
blood to speak for itself against the violator of God's 
law, still exists among the English-speaking people, 
and that it has manifested itself as a means of justice- 
seeking, in the United States, within a few years past. 


Beyond the idea of inspiration through an interflow 
of God-representing blood, there has been in primitive 
man's mind (however it came there) the thought of a 
possible inter-communion with God through an inter- 
union with God by blood. God is life. All life is 
from God, and belongs to God. Blood is life. Blood, 
therefore, as life, may be a means of man's inter-union 
with God. As the closest and most sacred of cove- 
nants between man and man ; as, indeed, an absolute 
merging of two human natures into one, is a possi- 
bility through an inter-flowing of a common blood ; 
so the closest and most sacred of covenants between 
man and God; so the inter-union of the human nature 
with the divine, has been looked upon as a possibil- 
ity, through the proffer and acceptance of a common 
life in a common blood-flow. 

Whatever has been man's view of sin and its pun- 
ishment, and of his separation from God because of 


unforgiven sin (I speak now of man as he is 
without the specific teachings of the Bible on ti the 
subject), he has counted blood his own blood, in act-ie 
uality or by substitute a means of inter-union witlr- 
God, or with the gods. Blood is not death, but life. 
The shedding of blood, Godward, is not the taking of 
life, but the giving of life. The outflowing of blood 
toward God is an act of gratitude or of affection, a 
proof of loving confidence, a means of inter-union. 
This seems to have been the universal primitive con- 
ception of the race. And an evidence of man's trust 
in the accomplished fact of his inter-union with God, 
or with the gods, by blood, has been the also univer- 
sal practice of man's inter-communion with God, or 
with the gods, by his sharing, in food-partaking, of the 
body of the sacrificial offering, whose blood Is the 
means of the divine-human inter-union. 

Perhaps the most ancient existing form of religious 
worship, as also the simplest and most primitive form, 
is to be found in China, in the state religion, repre- 
sented by the Emperor's worship at the Temple of 
Heaven, in Peking. And in that worship, the idea 
of the worshiper's inter-communion with God, through 
the body and blood of the sacrificial offering, is dis- 
closed, even if not always recognized, by all the repre- 
sentative Western authorities on the religions of China. 

"The Chinese idea of a sacrifice to the supreme 


spirit of Heaven and of Earth is that of a banquet 
There is no trace of any other idea/' says Dr. Edkins. 1 
Dr. Legge, 2 citing this statement, expands its signifi- 
cance by saying : " The notion of the whole service 
[at the Temple of Heaven] might be that of a ban- 
quet ; but a sacrifice and a banquet are incompatible 
ideas." 3 He then shows that the Chinese character 
tst, signifying " sacrifice," " covers a much wider space 
of meaning than our term sacrifice [as he seems to 
view our use of that term]." Morrison gives as one 
of the meanings of tsi, " That which is the medium 
between, or brings together, men and gods " ; and 
Hsu Shan " says, that tsl is made up of two ideo- 
grams ; one the primitive for spiritual beings, and the 
other representing a right hand and a piece of flesh." 
Legge adds: "The most general idea symbolized by 
it is an offering whereby communication and com- 
munion with spiritual beings [God, or the gods] is 
effected." 4 

Dr. S. Wells Williams says that " no religious sys- 
tem has been found among the Chinese which taught 

1 Religion in China, pp. 23, 32. 2 The Religions of China, p. 55. 
8 Dr. Legge heie seems to use the woid " sacrifice " in the light of a 
single meaning which attaches to it. There is surely no incompatibil- 
ity in the terms "banquet " and " saciifice," as we find their two-fold 
idea in the banquet-sacrifice of the Mosaic peace-offering (see Lev. 
7: 11-15). 

* The Relig. of China > Noles to Lect. I , p. 66. 


the doctrine of the atonement by the shedding of 
blood"; and this he counts "an argument in favor of 
their [the Chinese] antiquity " ; adding that " the state 
religion . . . has maintained its main features 
during the past three thousand years." 1 Williams 
here, evidently, refers to an expiatoiy atonement for 
sin ; and Legge has a similar view of the facts. 2 The 
idea of an approach to God through blood blood as 
a means of favor, even if not blood as a canceling of 
guilt is obvious in the outpouring of blood by the 
Emperor when he approaches God for his worship in 
the Temple of Heaven. The symbolic sacrifice in 
that worship, which precedes the communion, is of a 
whole "burnt offering, of a bullock, entire and without 
blemish"; 3 and the blood of that offering is rever- 
ently poured out into the earth, 4 to be buried there, 
according to the thought of man and the teachings of 
God in all the ages. It is even claimed that as early 
as 2697 B. C , it was the blood of the first-born which 
must be poured out toward God as a means of favor 
in the Emperor's approach for communion with 

1 The Mid. lurqr., II., 194. Sec also Martin's The Chhiw, p. 258. 

3 The JReffa of China, p. 53 f Gray thinks differently ( C "hunt, \ , 87.) 
8 The Mid. A7^, 1 , 76-78 ; The Chinese, p. 99 ; AWfr. in China, 

p. 21 ; The JRetiff. of China, p. 25 ; Confucianism and Taouism, p. 87. 

4 JRelig. in China, p. 22. The same is true m sacrifices to Confucius 
(Giay's China, I., 87). 


God ; " a first-born male " being offered up " as a 
whole burnt sacrifice," in this worship. 1 Surely, in this 
surrender of the first-born, there must have been some 
idea of an affectionate offering, in the gift of that which 
was dearest, even if there was no idea of substitution 
by way of expiation ; something in addition to the 
simple idea of " a banquet"; something which was an 
essential preliminary to the banquet 

Access to God being attained by the Emperor, the 
Emperor enjoys communion with God in the Temple 
of Heaven. It is after the outpouring of blood, and 
the offering of the holocaust, that in a lull of the 
orchestral music, in the great annual sacrifice " a sin- 
gle voice is heard, on the upper terrace of the altar, 
chanting the words, 'Give the cup of blessing, and the 
meat of blessing/ In response, the officer in charge 
of the cushion advances and kneels, spreading the 
cushion. Other officers present the cup of blessing 
and the meat of blessing [which have already been 
presented Godward] to the Emperor, who partakes of 
the wine and returns them. The Emperor then again 
prostrates himself, and knocks his forehead three 
times against the ground, and then nine times more, 
to represent his thankful reception of the wine and 
meat [in communion]." 2 

1 Chow k, cited by Douglas in Confuc. and Taou., p. 82 f. 
2 Edkins'b ./?*/&. in China, p. 27. 


The evidence is abundant, that the main idea of this 
primitive and supreme service in the religions of China 
is the inter-communion of the Emperor with God. 
And there is no lack of proof that in China, as else- 
where all the world over, blood as life is the means 
of covenanting in an indissoluble inter-union ; of 
which inter-union, inter-communion is a result and a 

In China, as also in India, 1 when the sacrifice of hu- 
man beings was abolished, it was followed by the sac- 
rifice of the horse. And the horse-sacrifice is still 
practised in some parts of the Chinese Empire, on im- 
portant occasions. A white horse is brought to the 
brink of a stream, or a lake, and there sacrificed, by 
decapitating it, "burying its head below low-water 
mark, but reserving its carcase for food"* In a descrip- 
tion of this sacrifice, in honor of a certain goddess, 
as witnessed by Archdeacon Gray;* it is said : " Its 
blood was received in a large earthenware jar, and a 
portion carried to the temple of the aforesaid goddess ; 
when all the villagers rushed tumultuously to secure 
a sprinkling of blood on the charms which they had 

1 See page 156 f,, wf/w. 

a " The flesh of the hoise is eaten both by the Chinese and the Mon* 
gohans." (Gray'i* China^ II., 174.) 

8 See C. F. Guidon Cumining's article "A Visit to the Temple of 
Heaven at Peking," in LotuL Quart* AVr/., for July, 1885, 


already purchased. The rest of the blood was min- 
gled with sand," and taken, with various accessories, 
in a boat "This boat headed a long procession of 
richly carved and gilded boats, in which were priests, 
both Buddhist and Taouists, and village warriors dis- 
charging matchlocks to terrify the water-devils ; while 
the men in the first boat sprinkle the waters, as they 
advance, with blood-stained sand." 

So, again, it is the blood of a cock, not the body 
but the blood, which is made the propitiatory offering 
to the goddess known as " Loong-moo, or the Dragon's 
Mother," on the river junks of China. The blood is 
sprinkled on the deck, near a temporary altar, where 
libations of wine have already been poured out by the 
master of this junk, who is the sacrificen Afterwards, 
bits of silver paper are " sprinkled with the blood, and 
then fastened to the door-posts and lintels of the 
cabin " j 1 as if in token of the blood-covenant between 
those who are within those doors and the goddess 
whose substitute blood is there affixed. And this 
precedes the feast of inter-communion. 2 

Nor are indications wanting, that the idea of inter- 
union with the gods by blood was originally linked 
with, if it were not primarily based upon, the rite of 
blood-covenanting between two human friends. Thus, 
Archdeacon Gray unconsciously discloses traces of 

1 See Exod. 12 : 7-10. 2 Gray's China, II., 271 f. 


this rite, in his description of the exorcising of demons 
from the body of a child, by a Taouist priest, in Can- 
ton. 1 Certain preliminary ceremonies were concluded, 
which were supposed to drive out the demons. " The 
priest then proceeded to uncover his [own] arm, and 
made an incision with a lancet in the fleshy part. The 
blood which flowed from the wound, was allowed to 
mingle with a small quantity of water in a cup. The 
seal of the temple, the impression of which was the 
name of the idol, was then dipped into the blood, and 
stamped upon the wrists, neck, back and forehead 3 of 
the poor heathen child." By this means, that child was 
symbolically sealed in covenant relations with the god 
of that temple, by the substitute blood of that god's 
representative priest. 

Thus, also, Dr. Legge, referring to old-time cove- 
nantings in China, says : 3 '* Many covenants were made 
among the feudal princes, made over the blood of a 
victim, with which each covenanting party smeared the 
corners of his mouth [which is one form of tasting], 4 
while an appeal was addressed to the invisible powers 
to inflict vengeance on all who should violate the con- 
ditions agreed upon [the ordinary imprecatory prayers 
in the rite of blood-covenanting] ." A symbolic inter- 

1 Gray's China, I., 102. 

2 See Rev. 7: 3; 9: 4; 13: 16; 14: I ; 20: 4; 22; 4. 
8 The Rehg. of China, p. 289 4 See The Rite in Biunmh, in Appendix. 


union of blood is a basis of 'inter-communion between 
two human beings, as also between the human and 
the divine beings even in China where, perhaps, that 
idea would be least likely to be looked for. 

It is a common opinion, that in no part of the world 
is there a more general prejudice against blood-shed- 
ding, or the taking of animal life, than in India. And 
it certainly is a fact, that the great religious systems, 
of Brahmanism and of Booddhism, which have con- 
trolled the moral sense of the peoples of India for a 
score or two of centuries, have exerted themselves, 
in the main, to the inculcation of these views as to the 
sacredness of blood and of life or of blood which is 
life. Hence, we would naturally look, in India, only 
for traces, or vestiges, of the primitive, world-wide 
idea of inter-communion with God, or with the gods, 
through a divine-human inter-union by blood. Nor 
are such traces and vestiges lacking in the religious 
customs of India. 

In India, as in China, human sacrifices, especially 
the sacrifice of the first-born son, were formerly made 
freely, as a means of bringing the offerer into closer 
relations with the gods, through the outpoured blood. 1 
It was the blood, as the life, which was believed to be 
the common possession of gods, men, and beasts ; 

1 See Dubois's Des. Man. and Cust. of People of India, Part III., 
chap. 7 ; also Moniei William&'s Hinduism^ p. 36 f. 


hence the final substitution, in India, of beasts for 
men, in the blood-covenanting with the gods. On 
this point, the evidence seems clear. 

The Vedas, or sacred books of the Brahmans, teach, 
indeed, that the gods themselves were mere mortals, 
until by repeated offerings of blood in sacrifice, to 
the Supreme Being, they won immortality from him ; 
which is only another way of making the claim, put 
forward by the immortalized-mortal, in the Book of 
the Dead, of ancient Egypt, that the mortal became 
one with the gods through an interflow of a common 
life in the common blood of the two. Mortals gave 
the blood of their first-born sons in sacrifice to the 
Supreme Being. Then the Supreme Being gave the 
blood of his first-born male in sacrifice. Thus, the 
nature of the favored mortals and the nature of the 
Supreme Being became one and the same. Dr. Monier 
Williams cites freely from the Vedas in the direction 
of this great truth ; although he docs not note its bear- 
ing on the blood-covenant rite. Thus, in " the follow- 
ing free translation of a passage of the Satapatha- 
brahmana : 

* The gods lived constantly in (head of Death 
The mighty Endci AO, with toil&ome litas 
They woishiped, and lepeated, 
Till they became immoital ' " 

"And again in the Taittirlya-brahmana : ' By means of 


the sacrifice the gods obtained heaven.' " In the Tan- 
dya-brahmanas : " The lord of creatures offered him- 
self a sacrifice for the gods." "And again, in the 
Satapatha-brahmana : 'He who, knowing this, sacri- 
fices with the Purusha-medha, or sacrifice of the pri- 
meval male, becomes everything ' " 1 

That it was the blood, which was the qjiief element 
in the covenanting-sacrifice, is evident from all the 
facts in the case. Thus, in the Aitareya-brahmana, it 
is said: "The gods killed a man for their victim [of 
sacrifice]. But from him thus killed, the part which 
was fit for a sacrifice went out and entered a horse. 
Thence, the horse became an animal fit for being sac- 
rificed. The gods then killed the horse, but the part 
of it fit for being sacrificed went out of it and entered an 
ox. The gods then killed the ox, but the part of it fit 
for being sacrificed went out of it and entered a 
sheep. Thence it entered a goat The sacrificial part 
remained for the longest time in the goat ; thence it 
[the goat] became pre-eminently fit for being sacri- 
ficed ! " Indian history shows that this has been the pro- 
gress of reform, from the days of human sacrifice down- 
ward. " It is remarkable that in Vedic times, even a cow 
. . . was sometimes killed ; and goats, as is well 
known, are still sacrificed to the goddess Kali." 3 Kali, 
also called Doorga, is the blood-craving goddess. The 

1 Moniei Williams's Hinduism^ p 35 f. 2 Ihd., p. 37 f. 



blood of one human victim, it is said, " gives her a 
gleam of pleasure that endures a thousand years ; and 
the sacrifice of three men together, would prolong her 
ecstasy for a thousand centuries." 1 

Bishop Heber indicates the "sacrificial part " of the 
goat as he saw it offered at a temple of Kali in Umcer. 
He was being shown by his guide through that city, 
on his first visit there, and the guide proposed a look 
at the temple. " He turned short, and led us some 
little distance up the citadel, then through a dark, low 
arch into a small court, where, to my surprise, the first 
object which met my eyes was a pool of blood on the 
pavement, by which a naked man stood with a bloody 
sword in his hand. . . , The guide . , . cau- 
tioned me against treading in the blood, and told me 
that a goat was sacrificed here every morning. In 
fact a second glance showed me the headless body of 
the poor animal lying before the steps of a small 
shrine, apparently of Kali. The Brahman was officia- 
ting and tinkling his bell. . . . The guide told 
us, on our way back, that the tradition was, that, in 
ancient times, a man was sacrificed here every clay ; 
that the custom had been laid aside till Jyc Singh [the 
builder of Umeer] had a frightful dream, in which the 
destroying power appeared to him, and asked why 
her image was suffered to be dry [It is blood, \\stjftesh, 
1 Dubois'& fits, of Man. and Citst, in fattta, I'art III,, chap* vii. 


that moistens]. The Rajah, afraid to disobey, and re- 
luctant to fulfil the requisition to its ancient extent of 
horror, took counsel and substituted a goat [in which 
as well as in man there is blood which is life which 
is the chief thing in a sacrifice Godward] for the 
human victim ; with which the 

*Dark goddess of the azuie flood, 

Whose lobes aie wet with infant teais, 

Skull-chaplet weaier, whom the blood 
Of man delights thiee thousand yeais,' 

was graciously pleased to be contented." * 

" I had always heard, and fully believed till I came 
to India," says Bishop Heber, " that it was a grievous 
crime, in the opinion of the Brahmans, to eat the flesh 
or shed the blood of any living creature whatever. I 
have now myself seen Brahmans of the highest caste 
cut off the heads of goats, as a sacrifice to Doorga ; 
and I know from the testimony of Brahmans, as well 
as from other sources, that not only hecatombs of 
animals are often offered in this manner, as a most 
meritorious act (a Rajah, about twenty-five years back 
[say about A. D. 1800], offered sixty thousand in one 
fortnight); but that any persons, Brahmans not ex- 
ccpted, eat readily [in inter-communion] of the flesh 
which has been offered up to one of their divinities." 2 
Clearly, the idea of inter-communion with the gods, 

1 Hebei's Travels in India, II., 13 f. 2 -^- H., 285. 


on the basis of the inter-flow of blood, exists in many 
Brahmanic practices of to-day. It still finds its ex- 
pression in the occasional " Sacrifice of the Yajna, at 
which a ram is immolated." It is claimed by the 
Brahmans that " this sacrifice is the most exalted and 
the most meritorious of all that human beings can de- 
vise. It is the most grateful to the gods. It calls 
down all sorts of temporal blessings, and blots out all 
the sins that can have been accumulated for four gen- 
erations." The ram chosen for this sacrifice must be 
" entirely white, and without blemish : of about three 
years old." Only Brahmans who are free from physi- 
cal infirmities and from ceremonial defects can have 
a part in its offering, " at which no man of any other 
caste can be present" Because of the Brahmanic 
horror of the shedding of blood, the victim is 
smothered, or " strangled " ; after which it is cut in 
pieces, and burned as an oblation. "A part, however, 
is preserved for him who presides at the sacrifice, and 
part for him who is at the expense of it. These share 
their portions with the Brahmans who arc present ; 
amongst whom a scufHe ensues, each striving for a 
small bit of the flesh. Such morsels as they can catch 
they tear with their hands, and devour as a sacred 
viand [the meat of inter-communion with the gods]. 
This practice is the more remarkable, as being the 
only occasion in their [the Brahmans'] lives when they 


can venture to touch animal food." "This most 
renowned sacrifice ... is one of the six privileges 
of the Brahmans " ; and it would seem that its offering 
may now be directed to any one of the divinities, at 
the preference of the offerer. Formerly there was also 
the " Great Sacrifice of the Yajna," which is no longer 
in use. "At this sacrifice," in its day, " every species 
of victim was immolated ; and it is beyond doubt that 
human beings even were offered up ; but the horse and 
the elephant were the most common." 1 So, there has 
never been an entire absence from the Brahmanic 
practices of an inter-communion with the gods through 
an inter-union by blood. 

Even more remarkable than this canonical sacrifice 
of the Yajna, with its accompanying inter-communion, 
are some of the occult sacrifices to the gods of the 
Hindoo Pantheon, in which all the ordinary barriers 
of caste are disregarded, in the un-canonical but greatly 
prized services of inter-communion with the gods on 
the basis of an inter-flow of blood. The offerings of 
blood-flowing sacrifices, including even the cow, are 
made before the image of Vishnoo ; or, more probably, 
of Krishna as one of the forms of Vishnoo. The spirit- 
uous liquors of the country are also presented as drink- 
offerings. Then follows the inter-communion. " He 
who administers [at the offering to the god] tastes 

1 Dubois's JDes. of Man and Czist. of India, Pait II., chap. xxxi. 


each species of meat and of liquor ; after which he 
gives permission to the worshipers to consume the 
rest. Then may be seen men and women rushing 
forward, tearing and devouring. One seizes a morsel, 
and while he gnaws it, another snatches it out of his 
hands, and thus it passes on from mouth to mouth till 
it disappears, while fresh morsels, in succession, are 
making the same disgusting round. The meat being 
greedily eaten up, the strong liquors and the opium 
[which have all been offered to the gods] are sent round. 
All drink out of the same cup, one draining what 
another leaves, in spite of their natural abhorrence 
of such a practice. . . . All castes are confounded, 
and the Brahman is not above the Pariah. . . . 
Brahmans, Sudras, Pariahs, men and women, swill the 
arrack which was the offering to the Saktis, regardless 
of the same glass being used by them all, which in 
ordinary cases would excite abhorrence. Here it is a 
virtuous act to participate in the same morsel, and to 
receive from each other's mouths the half-gnawn 
flesh." 1 

The fact that this service is of so disgusting a 
character, does not lessen its importance as an illustra- 
tion of a primitive custom degraded by successive 
generations of defiling influences. It still stands as 
one of the proofs of the universal custom of an 

1 Dubois's DCS. of Man. and Oust, of India, Pail IL, chap. xi. 


attempted inter-communion with the gods through 
an inter-union by blood. Indeed, there are many 
traces, in India, of the survival of this primitive idea. 
Referring to the worship of Krishna, under the form 
of Jagan-natha (or Juggernaut, as the name is popu- 
larly rendered) a recent writer on India says : " Be- 
fore this monstrous shrine, all distinctions of caste 
are forgotten, and even a Christian may sit down and 
eat with a Brahman. In his work on Orissa, Dr. W. 
W. Hunter says that at the * Sacrament of the Holy 
Food* he has seen a Puri priest receive his food from a 
Christian's hand. . . . This rite is evidently also a 
survival of Buddhism [It goes a long way back of 
that]. It is remarkable that at the shrine of Vyan- 
koba, an obscure form of Siva, at Pandharpur, in the 
Southern Maratha country, caste is also in abeyance, 
all men being deemed equal in its presence. Food is 
daily sent as a gift from the god to persons in all parts 
of the surrounding country, and the proudest Brah- 
man gladly will accept and partake of it from the 
hands of the Sudra, or Mahar, who is usually its 
bearer. There are two great annual festivals in 
honor of Jagan-natha. . . . They are held every- 
where ; but at Puri they are attended by pilgrims from 
every part of India, as many as 200,000 often being 
present. All the ground is holy within twenty miles 
of the pagoda, and the establishment of priests 


amounts to 3000. The ' Sacrament of the Holy Food 1 
is celebrated three times a day." 1 

Thus it is evident that the idea of inter-communion 
with the gods has not been lost sight of in India, even 
through the influence of Brahmanism and Booddhism 
against the idea of divine-human inter-union by blood 
which is life. Indeed, this idea so pervades the relig- 
ious thought of the Hindoos, that the commands are 
specific in their sacred books, that a portion of all food 
must be offered to the spirits, before any of it is 
partaken of by the eater. " It is emphatically declared 
that he who partakes of food before it has been offered 
in sacrifice as above described, eats but to his own 
damnation;" 2 unless he discerns there the principle 
of divine-human inter-communion, he eats to his own 
spiritual destruction. 3 

And just here it is well to notice an incidental item 
of evidence that in India, as in the other lands of the 
East, the sacrifices to the gods were in some way 
linked with the primitive rite of human covenanting 
by blood. An Oriental scholar has called attention to 
the origin of the nose-ring, so commonly worn in In- 
dia, as described in the Hindoo Paga-Vatham. 4 The 
story runs, that at the incarnation of Vishnoo as 

lM The Hindu Pantheon," in Birdwood's Indian Arts, p. 76 f. 

* Ibid., p. 42. 8 i Cor. II: 29. 

4 See Roberto's Oriental Illus. of Scnflui'es, pp. 484-489. 


Krishna, the holy child's life was sought, and his 
mother exchanged her infant for the child of another 
woman, in order to his protection. In doing so, she 
" bored a hole in the nose of her infant, and put a ring 
into it as an impediment and a sign. The blood which 
came from the wound was as a sacrifice to prevent him 
from falling into the hand of his enemies." And, to 
this day, the nose-ring has two names, indicative of its 
two-fold purpose. "The first [name] is nate-kaddan, 
which signifies ' the obligation or debt a person is un- 
der by a vow ' ; the second [name] is mooka-taddi, lit- 
erally ' nose-impediment or hindrance/ that is, to sick- 
ness or death." The child's blood is given in cove- 
nant obligation to the gods, and the nose-ring is the 
token of the covenant-obligation, and a pledge of pro- 
tected life. When a Hindoo youth who has worn a 
nose-ring would remove it, on the occasion of his mar- 
riage, he must do so with formal ceremonies at the 
temple, and by the use of a liquid " which represents 
blood/' composed of saffron, 1 of lime, and of water. A 
young tree must also be planted in connection with 
this ceremony, as in the ceremony of blood-covenant- 
ing in some portions of the East 2 These symbolisms 
can hardly fail to be recognized as based on the uni- 
versal primitive rite of blood-covenanting. 3 

The very earliest records of Babylon and Assyria, 

l Seepage77j/ra 2 $eepage53,.w/rtf. 8 See also page 1 94 ft , infra. 


indicate the outreaching of man for an inter-union 
with God, or with the gods, by substitute blood, and 
the confident inter-communion of man with God, or 
with the gods, on the strength of this inter-union by 
blood. There is an Akkadian v poem which clearly 
" goes back to pre-Semitic times," with its later As- 
syrian translation, concerning the sacrifice, to the gods, 
of a first-born son. 1 It says distinctly : "His offspring 
for his life he gave." Here is obviously the idea of 
vicarious substitution, of life for life, of the blood of 
the son for the blood of the father, but this substitu- 
tion does not necessarily involve the idea of an expia- 
tory offering for sin ; even though it does include the 
idea of propitiation. Abraham's surrender of his 
first-born son to God was in proof of his loving trust, 
not of his sense of a penalty due for sin. Jephthah's 
surrender of his daughter was on a vow of devotedness, 
not as an exhibit of remorse, or of penitence, for unex- 
piated guilt In each instance, the outpouring of sub- 
stitute blood was in evidence of a desire to be in new 
covenant oneness with God. Thus Queen Mancnko 
and Dr. Livingstone made a covenant of blood vicar- 
iously, by the substitution of her husband on the one 
part, and of an attendant of Livingstone, on the other 
part. 3 So also the Akkadian king may have sought 

1 See Sayce's paper, in Trans. Sec. Bib. Arch., Vol. I., Part I, pp. 25-31. 
2 See page 13 , supra. 


a covenant union with his god from whom sin had 
separated him by the substitute blood of his first- 
born and best loved son. 

Certain it is, that the early kings of Babylon and 
Assyria were accustomed to make their grateful offer- 
ings to the gods, and to share those offerings with the 
gods, by way of inter-communion with the gods, apart 
from any sense of sin and of its merited punishment 
which they may have felt 1 Indeed, it is claimed, with 
a show of reason, that the very word (surqvnu) which 
was used for " altar " in the Assyrian, was primarily 
the word for "table"; that, in fact, what was later 
known as the " altar " to the gods, was originally the 
table of communion between the gods and their wor- 
shipers. 2 There seems to be a reference to this 
idea in the interchanged use of the words " altar " 
and "table" by the Prophet Malachi: "And ye say, 
Wherein have we despised thy name ? Ye offer pol- 
luted bread upon mine altar. And ye say, Wherein 
have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table 
of the Lord is contemptible." 3 So again, in Isaiah 

1 " Whether he has overcome his enemies or the wild beasts, he 
pouis out a libation from the sacred cup/' says Layaid (Nineveh 
and its Jtemains, Vol. II , chap. 7) concerning the old-time King of 

2 See H. Fox Talbot's paper, in Tram. Soc. Bib* Arch., Vol. TV, 

Part I, p. 58 f. 

8 Mai 1 : 6, 7. See also Isa. 65 : 1 1. 


65 : 1 1 : " But ye that forsake the Lord, that forget 
my holy mountain, that prepare a table for Fortune, 
and that fill up mingled wine unto Destiny; I will 
destine you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down 
to the slaughter." 

See, in this connection, the Assyrian inscription of 
Esarhaddon, the son of Sennacherib, 1 in description of 
his great palace at Nineveh : " I filled with beauties the 
great palace of my empire, and I called it * The Palace 
which Rivals the World/ Ashur, Ishtar of Nineveh, 
and the gods of Assyria, all of them, I feasted within 
it. Victims precious and beautiful I sacrificed before 
them, and I caused them to receive my gifts. I did 
for those gods whatever they wished." 2 It is even 
claimed by Assyrian scholars, that in this inter-com- 
munion with the gods, worshipers might partake of 
the flesh of animals which was forbidden to them at 
all other times 3 as among the Brahmans of India 

In farther illustration of the truth that inter-com- 
munion with the gods was shown in partaking of 
sacred food with the gods, H. Fox Talbot, the Assyri- 
ologist, says of the ancient Assyrian inscription : 

1 2 Kings 19. 37, Ezia4: 2; Isa. 37: 38. See also I Cor. lo: 21. 

2 Rec. of Past III., 122 f 

8 Savce's Anc. Emp. of Mast, p. 201 ; alto, W. Robeztson Smith's Old 
Test, tnjfiv. C/i. 9 notes on Led xii. 


"There is a fine inscription, not yet fully trans- 
lated, describing the soul in heaven, clothed in a 
white radiant garment, seated in the company of the 
blessed, arid fed by the gods themselves with celestial 
food." 1 

Among the Parsees, or the Zoroastrians, who inter- 
vene, as it were, between the primitive peoples of 
Assyria and India, and the later inhabitants of the 
Persian empire, there prevailed the same idea of divine- 
human inter-union through blood, and of divine-human 
inter-communion through sharing the flesh of the prof- 
fered and accepted sacrifice, at the altar, or at the 
table, of the gods, Ormuzd and Ahriman. The horse 
was a favorite substitute victim of sacrifice, among the 
Parsees ; as also among the Hindoos and the Chinese. 
Its blood was the means of divine-human inter-union. 
" The flesh of the victim was eaten by the priest and 
the worshipers ; the ' soul ' [the life, the blood] of it 
only was enjoyed by Ormazd" 2 The communion- 
drink, in the Parsee sacrament, as still observed, is the 
juice of the haoma, or horn. " Small bread [or wafers] 
called Darun, of the size of a dollar, and covered with 
a piece of meat, incense, and Haoma, or Horn," the 
juice of the plant known in India as Soma, are used in 
this sacrament. "The Darun and the Horn [having 
been presented to the gods] are afterwards eaten by 

c. o/Pasf, III., 135. 2 Sayce's Anc. Emp. of East, p. 266. 


the priests," as in communion. 1 This is sometimes 
called the " Sacrament of the Haoma " 2 

In ancient Egypt, it seems to have been much as in 
China, and India, and Assyria. Substitute blood was a 
basis of inter-union between man and the gods ; and a 
divine-human inter-communion was secured as a proof 
and as a result of that inter-union. That it was human 
blood which was, of old, in Egypt, poured out as a 
means of this inter-union (in some cases at least) seems 
clear. It is declared by Manetho, and Diodorus, and 
Athenseus, and Plutarch, and Porphyry. 8 It is recog- 
nized as proven, by Kenrick 4 and Ebers 5 and other 
Egyptian scholars. Wilkinson, it is true, was unwill- 
ing to accept its reality, because, in his opinion, " it is 
quite incompatible with the character of a nation 
whose artists thought acts of clemency towards a foe 
worthy of record, and whose laws were distinguished 
by that humanity which punished with death the mur- 
der even of a slave " ; 6 and he prefers to rest on " the 
improbability of such a custom among a civilized peo- 
ple." Yet, a single item of proof from the monuments 

iSchaff-Heizog's Encyc. of Rdig. KnowL, art. " Paiseeism." 

2 Anc. Emp. of East, p. 266. 
5 See Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt., III., 30, 400. 

* Kemick's Anc. Egypt, I , 369 ff. 

5 Ebeis's &gypt. u. d. Buck. Mose's, p. 245 f. 

6 Wilkinson's Anc. E&'pt., III., 402. 


would seem sufficient to settle this question, if it were 
still deemed a question. The ideogram which was em- 
ployed on the seal of the priests, authorizing the 
slaying of an animal in sacrifice, "bore the figure of a 
man on his knees, with his hands tied behind him, and 
a sword pointed at his throat." * 

Herodotus, 2 describing the magnificent festival of 
Isis, at Busiris, says that a bull was sacrificed on that 
occasion; and we know that in every such sacrifice 
the blood of the victim was poured out as an oblation, 
at the altar. 3 When the duly prepared offering was 
consumed upon the altar, those portions of the victim 
which had been reserved were eaten by the priest and 
others. 4 Herodotus says, moreover, that some of the 
Greeks who were present at this festival were in the 
habit of causing their own blood to flow during the 
consuming of the sacrifice, as if in proof of their 
desire for inter-union with the goddess, as precedent 
to their inter-communion with hen He says : " But 
as many of the Karians as are dwelling in Egypt, do 
yet more than these [native Egyptians], inasmuch as 

1 Cited from Castor, in Plutarch, in Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt., III., 407- 
See also Ebeis's j&gypt. u. d. Buck. Mosfs, p. 246. 
2 Hist., II., 59. 

3 Wilkinson's Anc. Egypt , III., 409- See also page 102, supra. 

4 Wilkinson's Anc, Egypt , III., 109 ; 410 ; Kenrick's Anc . Egypt., I., 
373. See Herodotus, ffist., II., 47. 


they cut their foreheads with swords ; l and so they 
are shown to be foreigners and not Egyptians/' 2 

It would even seem that in Egypt, as in other parts 
of the primitive world, the prohibition of the eating 
of many sacred animals applied to the eating of them 
when not offered in sacrifice. Because those animals 
became, as it were, on the altar, or on the table, of the 
gods, a portion of the gods themselves, they must not 
be eaten except by those who discerned in them the 
body of the gods, and who were entitled to share 
them in inter-communion with the gods. 3 

The monumental representations of the other world 
show the gods sharing food and drink with the souls 
of the deceased. 4 And the idea of a divine-human 
inter-communion through the partaking by gods and 
men of the food provided for, or accepted by, the for- 
mer, runs all through the Egyptian record. A re- 
markable illustration of this idea is found in an 
extended inscription from the tomb of Setee L, whose 
daughter is supposed to have been the finder of the 
infant Moses. In this inscription, which is sometimes 
called the Book of Hades, or more properly the Book 
of Amenti, the Sun-god Ra is represented as passing 
through Amenti or the under world on his noctur- 

1 Ksf , II., 61. z See references to this custom at page 85 fif, supra. 

8 See Wilkinson's Ane. Egypt, III., 404-406. 
4 Renoufs The Rehg. of Anc. Egypt, pp. 138-147. 


nal circuit, and speaking words of approval to his 
disembodied worshipers there. 1 " These are they who 
worshiped Ra on the earth, . . . who offered 
their oblations. . . . They are [now] masters of 
their refreshments ; they take their meat ; they seize 
their offerings in the porch of him, whose being is 
mysterious. . . . Ra says to them, Your offerings 
are yours ; take your refreshment." Again and again 
the declaration is made of "the elect," of those who are 
greeted by Ra in Amenti : " Their food is (composed) 
of Ra's bread ; their drink [is] of his liquor teshcr [a 
common word for " red/ 7 often standing for " blood " 2 ]. 
And yet again : " Their food is to hear the word of 
this god." 3 " Their food is that of the veridical [the 
truth-speaking] ones. Offerings are [now] made to 
them on earth ; because the true word is in them." 4 

Thus there was inter-communion between man and 
the gods in ancient Egypt, on the basis of a blood- 
made inter-union between man and the gods ; as there 
was also in primitive Assyria and Babylon, in primi- 
tive India, and in primitive China. 

Turning now from the far East to the far West, we 

1 See Rec. of Pasf, X., 79-134. z See page 102 f., supra. 

3 " Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that pioceed- 
eth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live." (Deut 8:3. See, 
also, Matt. 4: 4; Job 23 : 12; John 4: 34.) 

* See John 8: 31,32; 16: 13; 17: 19. 


find that Central American and South American his- 
tory and legends tend to illustrate the same primitive 
belief, that inter-communion with the gods was to be 
secured by the hearty surrender of self as evidenced 
by the tender of personal, or of substitute blood. A 
Guatemalan legend has its suggestion of that out- 
reaching of man for fire from heaven which is illus- 
trated in the primitive and the classic myths of the 
ages. 1 The men of Guatemala were without the hea- 
ven-born fire, and they turned, in their longing, to the 
Quiche god, Tohil, seeking it from him, on such terms 
as he might prescribe. " The condition finally named 
by the god was, that they consent to ' unite themselves 
to me, under their armpit, and under their girdle, and 
that they embrace me, Tohil ' ; a condition not very 
clearly expressed [says a historian], but which, as 
is shown by what follows, was an agreement to 
worship the Quiche god, and sacrifice to him their 
blood, and, if required, their children. They accepted 
the condition, and received the fire." 2 

In the light of the prevailing customs of the world, 
concerning this rite of blood-covenanting, the require- 

1 See R6ville's Native Relig. of Hex. and Peru, pp. 63, 163 ; Cory's 
Anc. Frag., p. 5 ; Dubois's Des. Man and Cust. of India, Pan II , chap. 
31 ; Tylor's Prim Cult., II., 278 ff. ; Doiman's Ong. of Prim. 
p. 150; Aadeison's Lake Ngami, p. 220. 

2 Banaoft's Native Races, V , 547 f. 


ments of the Quiche god were clearly based on the 
symbolism of that rite ; as the historian did not per- 
ceive, from his unfamiliarity with the rite. If men 
would be in favor with that god, and would receive his 
choicest gifts, they must unite themselves to him; 
must enter into oneness of nature with him, by giving 
of their blood, from " under their armpit, and under 
their girdle " ; from the source of life, and at the issue 
of life ; for themselves and for their seed ; and they 
must lovingly embrace their covenant-god, accord- 
ingly. And in the counsel given to those new 
worshipers, it was said : " Make first your thanksgiv- 
ing ; prepare the holes in your ears ; [blood was drawn 
from the ears, as well as from other parts of the body, 
in Central American worship ; indeed one of their 
festivals was ' the feast of piercing the ears/ suggest- 
ing a similar religious custom in India; 1 ] pierce 
your elbows ; and offer sacrifice. This will be your 
act of gratitude before God." 2 

Among all these aboriginal races of Central Amer- 
ica, not only was the flesh of the sacrificial offerings 
eaten as in communion with the gods ; but the blood 
of the offerings, and also the blood of the offerers 
themselves, was sometimes sprinkled upon, or com- 
mingled with, those articles of food, which were made 

1 Monier Wilhams's Hinduism, p. 60. 
2 Bancroft's Native Races, V., 548. 


a means of spiritual inter-communion with their deities. 
Cakes of maize sprinkled with their own blood, drawn 
from " under the girdle," during their religious wor- 
ship, were " distributed and eaten as blessed bread." x 
Moreover, an image of their god, made with certain 
seeds from the first fruits of their temple gardens, with 
a certain gum, and with the blood of human sacrifices, 
was partaken of by them reverently, under the name, 
" Food of our soul." 2 At the conclusion of one of 
the great feasts of the year at Cuzco, in Peru, the wor- 
shipers " received the loaves of maize and the sacrifi- 
cial blood, which they ate as a symbol of brotherhood 
with the Ynca " 3 who claimed to be of divine blood 
and of divine power. 

Herrera describes one of these ceremonies of inter- 
communion with the gods, by means of a blood-mois- 
tened representation of a god. "An idol made of all 
the varieties of the seeds and grain of the country, 
was made, and moistened with the blood of children 
and virgins. This idol was broken into small bits, 
and given by way of communion to men and women 
to eat ; who, to prepare for that festival, bathed, and 

1 Bancroft's Native Races, II., 710. 

2 Mendieta's Hist. Eccles. Ind., p 108 f. ; cited in Spencer's DCS. 
Soc. t II., 20. 

3 Acosta's Hist. Nat. Mor. Ind., Bk. V., chap. 27, cited ha Spencer's 
Des. Soc. f II., 26. 


dressed their heads, and scarce slept all the night. 
They prayed, and as soon as it was day [they ] were 
all in the temple to receive that communion, with such 
singular silence and devotion, that though there was 
an infinite multitude, there seemed to be nobody. If 
any of the idol was left, the priests ate it" * 

So marked, indeed, was the sacramental character 
of these Peruvian communion feasts, that a Spanish 
Jesuit missionary to that country, three centuries ago, 
was disposed to see in them an invention of Satan, 
rather than a survival of a world-wide primitive cus- 
tom. He said : " That which is most admirable in the 
hatred and presumption of Sathan is, that he not only 
counterfeited in idolatry and sacrifices/ but also in 
certain ceremonies, our sacraments, which Jesus Christ 
our Lord instituted, and the Holy Church uses; hav- 
ing, especially, pretended to imitate, in some sort, the 
sacrament of the communion, which is the most high 
and divine of all others." 2 

Yet again, a prisoner of war would be selected to 
represent one of the gods, and so to be partaken of, 
in inter-communion through his blood. He would 
receive the name of the god ; and for a longer or a 

1 Herrera's Gen. Hist, of America, II , 379 ; cited in Donnan's Ong. 
of Pnm. Supers , p 152 f. 

2 Acosta's Jffist. Nat. Mor. Ind., Bk. V., chap. 23 ; cited in Piescott's 
Conquest of Pent, I., 108, note. 


shorter time, " sometimes a year, sometimes six 
months, and sometimes less," he would be min- 
istered to, and would receive honors and reverence as 
a god. Then he would be offered in sacrifice. His 
heart would be presented to the god. His blood 
would be employed reverently as was the case with 
all sacrifices in token of covenanting. His flesh 
would be eaten by the worshipers of the god whom 
he represented. 1 This " rite of dressing and worship- 
ing the sacrifices like the deities themselves, is related 
as being performed at the festivals of many gods and 
goddesses." 2 

A remarkable illustration of the unity of the race, 
and of the universal sweep of these customs in con- 
junction with the symbolism of the blood-covenant, 
is found in the similarity of this last named Central 
American practice, with a practice charged upon the 
Jews by Apion, as replied to by Josephus. The charge 
is, that "Antiochus found, upon entering the temple 
[at Jerusalem], a man lying upon a bed, with a table 
before him, set out with all the delicacies that either 
sea or land could afford." This captive's stoiy was : 
" I am a Greek, and wandering up and down in quest 

^errera's Gen. Hist., III., 207 f.; cited in Spencer's DCS. Soc. 
II , 20. 

2 Spencer's Des. Soc., II., 20 See also Southey's Hht. of Bra- 
zil, II., 370. 


of the means of subsistence, was taken up by some 
foreigners, brought to this place, and shut up. ... 
They gave me to understand, that the Jews had a cus- 
tom among them, once a year, upon a certain day pre- 
fixed, to seize upon a Grecian stranger, and when they 
had kept him fattening one whole year, to take him 
into a wood, and offer him up for a sacrifice according 
to their own form, taking a taste of his blood, with a 
horrid oath to live and die sworn enemies to the 
Greeks/' 1 Baseless as was this charge against the 
Jews, its veiy framing indicates the existence in the 
East, possibly among the Phoenicians, in days prior 
to the Christian era, as well as in pre-historic times in 
the West, of the custom of seeking inter-communion 
with God, or with the gods, by the tasting of the blood 
of a substitute human victim, offered in sacrifice to 
God, or to the gods. 

At the two extremes of the world, to-day, among 
the primitive Bed'ween of the Desert of Arabia, and 
among the primitive Indians of the prairies of North 
America, there lingers a trace of this world-wide idea, 
that the body of an offering covenanted to God by its 
blood, can be a means of inter-communion with God 
in its eating. Both the Bed'ween and the Indians con- 
nect in their minds the fact of sacrificing and of feast- 
ing ; and they speak of the two things interchangeably. 

1 Contra Apioncm, II., 7 


An Arab, when he makes a feast, speaks of sacri- 
ficing the animal which is the main feature of that 
feast I saw an Arab wedding at Castle Nakhl, on 
the Arabian Desert. The bridegroom sacrificed a 
young dromedary in honor of the occasion, and to 
furnish, as it were, the sacramental feast. The blood 
of the victim was poured out unto the Lord, by being 
buried in the earth as the Chinese bury the blood of 
their sacrifices in the Temple of Heaven. Portions 
of the dromedary were eaten by all the guests, and a 
portion was sent to the stranger encamping near them. 
And that is the common method of Arab sacrificing 
and feasting. 

There is much of similarity in the ways of the Arabs 
and of the Indians. The Indian feasts are largely 
feasts of inter-communion with the gods. Whether it 
were the human victim, of former times, whose blood 
was drunk and whose heart was eaten, as preliminary 
to the feasting on his entire remains ; J or, whether it 
be the preserved hearts and tongues of the buffaloes, 
which now form the basis of some of the sacred feasts 
of the Indians; 2 the idea of divine-human inter- 
communion was and is inseparable from the idea of 
the feast The first portion of the feast is always 
proffered to the spirits, in order to make it, in a pccu- 

1 See pages 105 f., 132, supra. 
2 See Clark's Indian Sign Language, s v., "Feast." 


liar sense, a sacred feast. Then, each person having 
a part in the feast is expected to eat the full share 
assigned to him; 1 unless indeed he be permitted to 
carry a remainder of it away " as sacred food " for the 
benefit of the others. 2 - 

And so the common root-idea shows itself, in lesser 
or in larger degree, all the world over, and in all the 
ages. It is practically universal. 

One of the many proofs that the idea of a blood- 
covenanting sacrifice is that of a loving inter-commu- 
nion between man and God, or the gods, is the fact 
that the animals offered in sacrifice are always those 
animals which are suitable for eating, whether their 
eating is allowed at other times than when sacrificed, 
or not. " Animals offered in sacrifice [at the Temple 
of Heaven, in China]," says Dr. Edkins, " must be 
those in use for human food. There is no trace in 
China of any distinction between clean and unclean 
animals, as furnishing a principle in selecting them for 

1 " Should he fail [to eat his poition], the host would be outraged, 
the community shocked, and the spirits roused to vengeance. Disaster 
would befall the nation death, peihaps, the individual." "A feaster 
unable to do his full part, might, if he could, hire another to aid him ; 
otherwise he must remain in his place till the work was done." (Park- 
man's Jesuits in No Am , p xxxviii.) 

2 "At some feasts guests aie permitted to take home some small por- 
tions for their childien as sacied food, especially good for them because it 
came fiom a feast." (Claik's Ind. Sign Lang., p. 168.) 



sacrifice. That which is good for food is good for 
sacrifice, is the principle guiding in their selection." l 
The same principle has been already noted as prevail- 
ing in the sacrifices of India, Assyria, and Egypt; 
although in these last named countries many animals 
which are " good for food " are not " in use for human 
food " except as they are served up at the table of the 
gods. 2 In the primitive New World it was the same as 
in the primitive Old World Referring to the sacrifices 
in ancient Peru, Reville says, " It should be noted that 
they only sacrificed edible animals, which [as ho would 
understand it] is a clear proof that the intention was 
to feed the gods"; 3 and it certainly seems a clear 
proof that the intention was to feed the worshipers 
who shared the sacred food. 

That this sharing of the proffered and accepted sac- 
rifice, in divine-human inter-communion, was counted 
a sharing of the divine nature, by the communicant, 
seems evident, as widely as the world-wide custom 
extended. The inter-union was wrought by inter- 
mingled blood ; the inter-communion gave a common 
progress to the common nature. The blood gave com- 
mon life ; the flesh gave common nourishment " Al- 
most everywhere," says Reville, 4 "but especially 

1 Edkins's Rehg in China, p. 22, note. 

2 See pages 159, 168, 172, supra. 
3 Seville's Native Rehg. of Mcx. and Pv it, p. 183. * Ibid,, p. 76. 


among the Aztecs, we find the notion, that the victim 
devoted to a deity, and therefore destined to pass into 
his substance, and to become by assimilation an 
integral part of him, is already co-substantial with 
him, has already become part of him; so that the 
worshiper in his turn, by himself assimilating a part 
of the victim's flesh, unites himself in substance 
with the divine being. And now observe [continues 
this student in the science of comparative religion] 
that in all religions the longing, whether grossly 
or spiritually apprehended, to enter into the closest 
possible union with the adored being, is fundamental. 
This longing is inseparable from the religious senti- 
ment itself, and becomes imperious wherever that 
sentiment is warm ; and this consideration is enough 
to convince us that it is in harmony with the most 
exalted tendencies of our nature, but may likewise, in 
times of ignorance, give rise to the most deplorable 
aberrations." This observation is the more note- 
worthy, in that it is made by so pronounced a ration- 
alist as Reville. 

It would even seem to be indicated, by all the trend 
of historic facts, that cannibalism gross, repulsive, 
inhuman cannibalism had its basis in man's perver- 
sion of this outreaching of his nature (whether that 
outreaching were first directed by revelation, or by 
divinely given innate promptings) after inter-union and 


inter-communion with God ; after life in God's life, and 
after growth through the partaking of God's food, or 
of that food which represents God. The studies of 
many observers in widely different fields have led both 
the rationalistic and the faith-filled student to conclude, 
that in their sphere of observation it was a religious 
sentiment, and not a mere animal craving, either 
through a scarcity of food, or from a spirit of malig- 
nity, that was at the bottom of cannibalistic practices 
there; even if that field were an exception to the 
world's fields generally. And now we have a glimpse 
of the nature and workings of that religious sentiment 
which prompted cannibalism wherever it has been 

Man longed for oneness of life with God. Oneness 
of life could come only through oneness of blood. 
To secure such oneness of life, man would give of his 
own blood, or of that substitute blood which could 
best represent himself. Counting himself in oneness 
of life with God, through the covenant of blood, man 
has sought for nourishment and growth through par- 
taking of that food which in a sense was life, and which 
in a larger sense gave life, because it was the food of 
God, and because it was the food which stood for God. 
In misdirected pursuance of this thought, men have 
given the blood of a consecrated human victim to 
bring themselves into union with God ; and then they 


have eaten of the flesh of that victim which had sup- 
plied the blood which made them one with God. This 
seems to be the basis of fact in the premises ; what- 
ever may be the understood philosophy of the facts. 
Why men reasoned thus, may indeed be in question. 
That they reasoned thus, seems evident. 

Certain it is, that, where cannibalism has been stud- 
ied in modern times, it has commonly been found to 
have had originally, a religious basis ; and the infer- 
ence is a fair one, that it must have been the same 
wherever cannibalism existed in earlier times. Even 
in some regions where cannibalism has long since 
been prohibited, there are traditions and traces of its 
former existence as a purely religious rite. Thus, in 
India, little images of flour paste or clay are now 
made for decapitation, or other mutilation, in the tem- 
ples, 1 in avowed imitation of human beings, who were 
once offered and eaten there. Referring to the fre- 
quency of human sacrifices in India, in earlier and in 
later times, and to these emblematic substitutes for 
them, now employed, the Abbe Dubois says : 2 "In 
the kingdom of Tanjore there is a village called 
Tirushankatam Kudi, where a solemn festival is cele- 
brated every year, at which great multitudes of people 
assemble, each votary bringing with him one of those 

x Sec page 176 f , supra. 

. cf Man. and Cust. of India, Pait III., chap. 7. 


little images of dough into the temple dedicated to 
Vishnu, and there cutting off the head in honor of 
that god. This ceremony, which is annually per- 
formed with great solemnity, was instituted in com- 
memoration of a famous event which happened in that 

" Two virtuous persons lived there, Sirutenden and 
his wife Vanagata-ananga, whose faith and piety 
Vishnu was desirous to prove. He appeared to them, 
and demanded no other service of them but that of 
sacrificing, with their own hands, their only and much 
beloved son Siralen, and serving ttp his flesh for a 
repast. The parents with heroic courage, surmounting 
the sentiments and chidings of nature, obeyed without 
hesitation, and submitted to the pleasure of the god. 
So illustrious an act of devotion is held worthy of this 
annual commemoration, at which the sacrifice is em- 
blematically renewed. The same barbarous custom is 
preserved in many parts of India , and the ardor with 
which the people engage in it leaves room to suspect 
that they still regret the times when they would have 
been at liberty to offer up to their sanguinary gods 
the reality, instead of the symbol." 

Such a legend as this, taken in conjunction with the 
custom which perpetuates it, and with all the known 
history of human sacrifices, in India and elsewhere,, 
furnishes evidence that cannibalism as a religious rite 


was known to the ancestors of the present dwellers in 
India. And as it is in the far East, so it is in the far 
West ; and so, also, in mid-ocean. 

Thus, for example, in the latter field, among the 
degraded Feejee Islanders, where one would be least 
likely to look for the sway of a religious sentiment 
in the more barbarous customs of that barbarous 
people, this truth has been recognized by Christian mis- 
sionaries, who would view the relics of heathenism with 
no undue favor. The Rev. Messrs. Williams and Cal- 
vert the one after thirteen years, and the other after 
seventeen years of missionary service there said on 
this subject: "Cannibalism is a part of the Fijian re- 
ligion, and the gods are described as delighting in 
human flesh." And again : " Human flesh is still the 
most valued offering [to the gods], and their ' drink 
offerings of blood ' are still the most acceptable [offer- 
ings to the gods] in some parts of Fiji." 1 

It was the same among the several tribes of the North 
American Indians, according to the most trustworthy 
testimony. A Dutch clergyman, Dominie Megapolen- 
sis, writing two centuries ago from near the present 
site of Albany, "bears the strongest testimony to the 
ferocity with which his friends the Mohawks treated 
their prisoners, . . . and is very explicit as to 

1 Sec Williams and Calveit's Fiji and the Fijians, pp 35 f., 161- 
166, 181 f. 


cannibalism. ' The common people/ he says ' eat the 
arms, buttocks, and trunk ; but the chiefs eat the head 
and the heart.' This feast was of a religious charac- 
ter." * Parkman says, of the " hideous scene of feast- 
ing [which] followed the torture of a prisoner," " it 
was, among the Hurons, partly an act of vengeance, 
and partly a religious rite." z He cites evidence, also, 
that there was cannibalism among the Miamis, where 
*' the act had somewhat of a religious character [and], 
was attended with ceremonial observances." 3 

Of the religious basis of cannibalism among the 
primitive peoples of Central and South America, stu- 
dents seem agreed. Dorman who has carefully col- 
lated important facts on this subject from varied sources, 
and has considered them in their scientific bearings, 
is explicit in his conclusions at this point Reviewing 
all the American field, he says : " I have dwelt longer 
upon the painful subject of cannibalism than might 
seem desirable, in order to show its religious character 
and prevalence everywhere. Instead of being confined 
to savage peoples, as is generally supposed, it prevailed 
to a greater extent and with more horrible rites among 
the most civilized. Its religious inception was the 
cause of this." 4 Again, he says, of the peoples of 

1 Cited in Parkman's Jesuits in JVb. Am , p. 228, note. 

2 Ibid. t p. xxxix, 3 Ibid,, p. xL, note. 

*Ongin of Pnm. Sitpers., p. 151 f 


Mexico and of the countries south of it: "All 
the Nahua nations practised this religious canni- 
balism. That cannibalism as a source of food, un- 
connected with religious rites, was ever practised, 
there is little evidence. Sahagun and Las Casas re- 
gard the cannibalism of the Nahuas as an abhorrent 
feature of their religion, and not as an unnatural ap- 
petite." l 

Reville, treating of the native religions of Mexico 
and Peru, comes to a similar conclusion with Dorman; 
and he argues that the state of things which was there 
was the same the world over, so far as it related to 
cannibalism. " Cannibalism," he says, 2 " which is now 
restricted to a few of the savage tribes who have re- 
mained closest to the animal life, was once universal 
to our race. For no one would ever have conceived 
the idea of offering to the gods a kind of food which 
excited nothing but disgust and horror " In this sug- 
gestion, Reville indicates his conviction that the primal 
idea of an altar was a table of blood-bought communion. 
" Human sacrifices " however, he goes on to say, "pre- 
vailed in many places when cannibalism had completely 
disappeared from the habits and tastes of the popula- 
tion. Thus the Semites of Western Asia, and the 
ivaite Hindus, the Celts, and some of the populations 

1 Origin of Pnm. Supers., p. 150. 
2 Native Rehg. in Mex. and Peru> p. 75 f. 


of Greece and Italy, long after they had renounced 
cannibalism, still continued to sacrifice human beings 
to their deities." And he might have added, that some 
savage peoples continued cannibalism when the relig- 
ious idea of its beginning had been almost swept away 
entirely by the brutalism of its inhuman nature and 
tendencies. Referring to the date of the conquest of 
Mexico, he says : " Cannibalism, in ordinary life, was 
no longer practised. The city of Mexico underwent 
all the horrors of famine during the siege conducted 
by Fernando Cortes. When the Spaniards finally en- 
tered the city, they found the streets strewn with 
corpses, which is a sufficient proof that human flesh 
was not eaten even in dire extremities. And, never- 
theless, the Aztecs not only pushed human sacrifices 
to a frantic extreme, but they were ritual cannibals, 
that is to say, there were certain occasions on which 
they ate the flesh of the human victims they had 
immolated." l 

And as it was in India and in America and in the 
Islands of the Sea, so it seems to have been wherever 
the primitive idea, of cannibalism as a prevalent custom 
has been intelligently sought out. 2 

1 Native Relig of Mejc. and Pent, p. 76. 

2 See refeiences to cannibalism as a lehgious ute among the Khontls 
of Orissa, the people of Sumafta, etc , in Adams's Curiosities of Sitter- 



As the primitive and more natural method of com- 
mingling bloods, in the blood-covenant, by sucking 
each other's veins, or by an inter-transference of 
blood from the mutually opened veins, was in many 
regions superseded by the symbolic laving, or sprink- 
ling, or anointing, with blood ; and as the blood of the 
lower animals was often substituted, vicariously, for 
human blood; so the blood and wine which were 
commingled for mutual drinking in the covenant-rite, 
or which were together poured out in libation, when 
the covenant was between man and the Deity, came, it 
would appear, to be represented, in many cases, by 
the wine alone. First, we find men pledging each 
other in a sacred covenant, in the inter-drinking of 
each other's blood mingled with wine. They called 
their covenant-draught, " assiratum," or " vinum assira- 
tum " ; " wine, covenant-filled." By and by, appar- 
ently, they came to count simple wine " the blood of 
grapes " 1 as the representative of blood and wine, in 
many forms of covenanting. 

This mutual drinking, as a covenant-pledge, has been 
continued as an element in the marriage ceremony, the 
world over, down to the present time. It would even 

x Gen 49: it; Deut. 32: 14; Ecclesiasticus 39: 26; 50. 15; 
I Mace. 6 : 34, 


seem that the gradual changes in the methods of this 
symbolic rite could be tracked, through its various 
forms in this ceremony, in different portions of the 
world. Among the wide-spreading 'Anazeh Bed'ween,, 
the pouring out of a blood libation is still the mode 
of completing the marriage-covenant. "When the 
marriage day is fixed," says Burckhardt, 1 " the bride- 
groom comes with a lamb in his arms to the tent of 
the father of his bride, and then, before witnesses, he 
cuts its throat As soon as the blood falls upon the 
earth, the marriage ceremony is regarded as com- 
plete." Among the Bed'ween of Sinai, as Palmer tells 
us, 2 the bride is sprinkled with the blood of the lamb, 
before she is surrendered to the bridegroom. Lane's 
mention of the prominence of outpoured blood at the 
weddings of the Copts in Cairo, has already been 
cited. 3 Among the Arabs, since the days of Muham- 
mad, wine has been generally abjured, and coffee now 
commonly takes its place as a drink, in all ordinary 
conferences for covenanting. 

In Borneo, among the Dayaks, the bride and the 
bridegroom sit side by side, facing the rising sun. Their 
parents then besprinkle them with the blood of some 
animal, and also with water. t Each being next presented 
with a cup of arrack, they mutually pour half into each 

1 In Beduinen und Wahaby^ p. 86 f. 
a Desert of the Exodus, I., 90. 8 See page 72, supra. 


other's cup, take a draught, and exchange vessels." 1 
In Burmah, among the Karens, water is poured upon 
the bride as she enters the bridegroom's house. When 
she is received by the bridegroom, " each one then 
gives the other to drink, and each says to the other, 
' Be faithful to thy covenant/ This is the proper mar- 
riage ceremony, and the parties are now married." 2 

The blood of an ox, or a cow, is caused to flow at 
the door of the bride's house, as a part of the marriage 
ceremony, in Namaqua Land. 3 A similar custom 
prevails among the Kafirs of Natal ; and an observer 
has said of this blood-flowing, in the covenanting 
rite: "This appears to be the fixing point of the 
ceremony " ; this is " the real matrimonial tie." 4 

Again it is the sharing from the same dish in drink- 
ing, as well as in eating, that the bride and the bride- 
groom covenant in marriage, in the Feejee Islands. 5 
The liquor that is made the common draught, as a 
substitute for the primitive blood-potion, is commonly 
the spirituous drink of the region; whether that drink 
be wine, or arrack, or whiskey, or beer. The symbol- 
ism is the same in every case. 

1 Wood's Wedding Day, p. 144 

2 Mason, in Journ. of Asiat Soc. of Bengal, Vol XXXV., Part II., 
p. 17 j cited in Spencer's Des. Soc , V., 9. 

8 Andersson's Lake Ngami, p. 220 f. 

4 Shooter's Kafirs of Natat, p. 77. 

B Williams and Cal vert's Fiji and the Ftjians, p. 134. 



In the Sanskrit, the word asnj signifies both "blood," 
and "saffron." 1 In the Hindoo wedding ceremony, 
in Malabar, " a dish of a liquid like blood, made of 
saffron and lime/' is held over the heads of the bride 
and groom. When the ceremony is concluded, the 
newly married couple sprinkle the spectators with this 
blood-like mixture; 2 which seems, indeed, not only 
here but in many other cases, in India, to have be- 
come a substitute for the covenanting blood. Refer- 
ence has already been made to its use in connection 
with the covenant of the nose-ring ; and the saffron 
colored cord of the wedding necklace, among the Brah- 
mans, has also been mentioned. 3 

A still more remarkable illustration of this saffron 
mixture in lieu of blood, in formal covenanting, in 
India, is found in its use in the rite of " adoption." 
In India, as elsewhere throughout the East, the desire 
of every parent to have a son is very strong. A son 
is longed for, to inherit the parental name and posses- 
sions, to perform the funeral rites and the annual cere- 
monies in honor of his parents ; and, indeed, " it is 
said in the Dattaka-Mimansa, ' Heaven awaits not one 
who is destitute of a son/ " When, therefore, parents 
have not a son of their own, they often formally adopt 
one; and, in this ceremony, saffron-water seems to 
1 See Momer Williams's Sanskrit Dictionary , s. v. 

2 See Pike's Sub- Tropical Rambles, p. 1 98. 3 See pages 7 7, 1 65, mpra. 


take the place of blood, in the sacred and indissoluble 
covenant of transfer. 1 So prominent indeed is this 
element of the saffron-water drinking as the substi- 
tute for blood-drinking in the covenant of adoption, 
that the adopted children of parents are commonly 
spoken of as their " water-of-saffron children." " Is 
it good to adopt the child, and give it saffron-water? " 
is a question that " occurs eight times in the book of 
fate called Saga-thevan-sasteram." Formal sacrifices 
precede the ceremony of adoption, and mutual feast- 
ing follows it. The natural mother of the child, in 
his transfer to his new parents by adoption, hands 
with him a dish of consecrated saffron-water; and 
both the child and the blood-symbol are received by 
the adopting father, with his declaration that the son is 
now to enter into all that belongs to that father. 
" Then he and his wife, pouring a little saffron water 
into the hollow of their hands, and dropping a little 
into that of the adoptive child, pronounce aloud be- 
fore the assembly : ' We have acquired this child to 
our stem, and we incorporate him into it/ Upon 
which they drink the saffron-water, and rising up, 
make a profound obeisance to the assembly ; to which 
the officiating Brahmans reply by the word, ' Asirva- 

x This Oriental custom gives an added meaning lo the suggestion, 
that Christ was sent to bung us to his Father, " that we might receive 
th adoption of sons " (Gal. 4: 5). 


dam.' " l It seems to me in every way probable, that 
in primitive times the blood of the child adopted, and 
of the parents adopting him, was partaken of by the 
three parties (as now throughout the East, in the case 
of the blood-covenanting of friends), in order that the 
child and his new parents might be literally of one 
blood. But, with the prejudice which grew up against 
blood-drinking in India, the saffron-water came to be 
used as a substitute for blood ; even as the blood of 
the grape came to be used instead of human blood in 
many other portions of the world. 

In China, an important rite in the marriage cere- 
mony is the drinking of " the wedding wine," from 
" two singularly shaped goblets, sometimes connected 
together by a red silk, or red cotton, cord, several 
feet long." After their worship of their ancestral 
tablets, the bride and the bridegroom stand face to 
face. " One of the female assistants takes the two 
goblets , . . from the table, and having partially 
filled them with a mixture of wine and honey, she 
pours some of their contents from one [goblet] into 
the other, back and forth several times. She then 
holds one to the mouth of the groom, and the other to 

1 The citations above made aie from Roberts's Oriental Illustrations 
of the Scriptures^ p. 574, and from Duboi&'s DCS. of Man. and Curt* 
of India, Part II., chap. 22; the latter being fiom the Dhectoiy or 
Ritual of the Purohitas. 


the mouth of the bride ; who continue to face each 
other, and who then sip a little of the wine. She 
then changes the goblets, and the bride sips out of the 
one just used by the groom, and the groom sips out 
of the one just used by the bride, the goblets often- 
times remaining tied together [by the red cord]. 
Sometimes she uses one goblet [interchanging its use 
between the two parties] in giving the wine." 1 The 
Rev. Chester Holcombe, who has been a missionary 
in China for a dozen years or more, writes me explicitly : 
" I have been told that in ancient times blood was act- 
ually used instead of the wine now used as a substi- 
tute," in this wedding-cup of covenanting. 

Again, Professor Douglas says 2 that, for a thousand 
years or so, it has been claimed that, at the birth of 
each two persons who are to be married, the red cord 
invisibly binds their feet together; which is only another 
way of saying that their lives are divinely inter-linked, 
as by the covenant of blood. 

In Central America, among the Chibchas, it was a 
primitive custom for the bridegroom to present him- 
self by night, after preliminary bargainings, at the 
door of his intended father-in-law's home, and there 
let his presence be known. Then the bride would 
come out to him, bringing a large gourd of chica, a 
fermented drink made from the juice of Indian corn; 

1 Doolittle's Social Life of the Chinese, I., 85-87. 2 Chzna, p. 72 f. 


" and coining close to him, she first tasted it herself, 
and then gave it to him. He drank as much as he 
could; and thus the marriage was concluded." 1 
Among the Bheels of India, the drinking of the cove- 
nant is between the representatives of the bridegroom 
and the parents of the bride, at the time of the be- 
trothal ; but this is quite consistent with the fact that 
the bride herself is not supposed to have a primary 
part in the covenant 2 It is much the same also among 
the Laplanders. 3 

Among the Georgians and Circassians, 4 and also 
among the Russians, 5 the officiating priest, at a mar- 
riage ceremony, drinks from a glass of wine, and then 
the bride and the groom drink three times, each, from 
the same glass. The Galatians wedded, with a float- 
him conjugii, " a wedding cup." G In Greece, the mar- 
riage ceremony concludes by the bride and the groom 
" drinking wine out of one cup." 7 In Switzerland, 
formerly, the clergymen "took two glasses of wine, 
mixed their contents, and gave one glass to the bride, 

1 Piedrahita's fftst New Granada, Bk. I., chap. 6; cited in Spencer's 
Des. Soc., II., 34. 

2 Malcolm, in Trans. Royal Asiat. Soc. 9 I., 83; cited in Spencer's 
Des Soc., V., 8. 

3 Wood's Wedding- Day, p. 142 * Ibid,, p. 66 f. 
6 Ibid., p 124 f. 6 Rons and Bogan's Arckaologitc Attica, p. 167. 

7 Wood's Wtddmg Day, pp. 36, 39. 


and the other to the bridegroom." l Among European 
Jews in olden time, the officiating rabbi, having blessed 
a glass of wine, tasted it himself, and then gave it first 
to the one and then to the other of the parties cove- 
nanting in marriage. 2 

This custom of covenanting in the wine-cup, at a 
wedding, is said to have come into England from the 
ancient Goths. 3 Its symbolical significance and its 
exceptional importance seem to have been generally 
recognized. Ben Jonson calls the wedding-wine a 
" knitting cup " 4 an inter-binding cup. And a later 
poet asks, forcefully : 

" What priest can join two lovers' hands, 
But wine must seal the maniage bands ? " 6 

In Ireland, as in Lapland and in India, it was at the 
betrothal, instead of at the wedding, that the covenant- 
ing-cup or the " agreement bottle " as it was called 
was shared ; and not unnaturally strong usquebaugh, 


or " water of life," was there substituted for wine as 
the representative of life-blood. 6 

In Scotland, as in Arabia and in Borneo, the use of 
blood in conjunction with the use of a wedding-cup 
has continued down to recent times. The " agree- 
ment bottle," or " the bottling," as it was sometimes 
called, preceded the wedding ceremony proper. At 

1 Wood's Wedding Day, p. 151. 2 Ibid., pp. 22, 23. 

247. V&aT, p. 247. *&&., p. 248. *>Ibid, p. 173. 


the wedding, the blood of a cock was shed at the 
covenanting feast. A reference to this is found in 
" The Wowing [the Wooing or the Vowing ?] of Jok 
and Jynny," among the most ancient remains of Scot- 
tish minstrelsy : 

" Jok tuk Jynny be the hand, 

And ciyd ane feist, and slew ane cok, 
And maid a brydell up alland ; 

Now haif I gottin. your Jynny, quoth Jok." l 

Among the ancient Romans, as also among the 
Greeks, the outpouring of sacrificial blood, and the 
mutual drinking of wine, were closely linked, in the 
marriage ceremony. When the substitute victim was 
ready for slaying, "the soothsayer drank wine out of 
an earthen, or wooden, chalice, called in Latin, simpit- 
him, or simpumum. It was in fashion much like our 
ewers, when we pour water into the basin. This cha- 
lice was afterward carried about to all the people, that 
they also might libarc, that is, lightly taste thereof; 
which rite hath been called libation? The remainder 
of the wine from the chalice was poured on to the 
victim, which was then slain; its blood being carefully 
preserved. And these ceremonies preceded the mar- 
riage feast 2 The wedding wine-drinking is now, how- 
ever, all that remains of them. 

1 Ross's The Book of Scottish Poems, L, 218. 
2 Godwyn's ROM,, Jhstonne^ p. 66 f. 


Indeed, it would seem that the common custom of 
" drinking healths," or of persons " pledging " each 
other in a glass of wine, is but a degenerate modifica- 
tion, or a latest vestige, of the primitive rite of cove- 
nanting m a sacred friendship, by means of commin- 
gled bloods shared in a wine-cup. Certainly this cus- 
tom prevailed among the old Norsemen, and among 
the ancient Romans and Greeks. That it originally 
included an idea of a possible covenant with Deity, 
and of a spiritual fellowship, is indicated in the fact 
that " the old Northmen drank the ' minni ' [the loving 
friendship] of Thor, Odin, and Freya; and of kings, 
likewise, at their funerals." So again there were 
" such formulas as ' God's minnie ! ' [and] * A bowl to 
God in heaven I'" 1 

The earlier method of this ceremony of pledging 
each other in wine, was by all the participants drink- 
ing, in turn, out of a common bowl ; as Catiline and 
his fellow-conspirators drank their blood and wine in 
mutual covenant ; and as the Romans drank at a wed- 
ding service In the Norseland, to-day, this custom 
is continued by the use of a drinking-bowl, marked by 
pegs for the individual potation , each man as he re- 
ceives it, on its round, being expected to " drink his 
peg.'* And even among the English and the Ameri- 
cans, as well as among the Germans, the touching of 

1 Tyler's Prim Cult, I., 85-97. 


two glasses together, in this health-pledging, is a com- 
mon custom ; as if in symbolism of a community in 
the contents of the two cups. As often, then, as we 
drink each other's healths, or as we respond to any 
call for a common toast-drinking, we do show a ves- 
tige of the primeval and the ever sacred mutual cove- 
nanting in blood. 


And now that we have before us this extended array 
of related facts concerning the sacred uses and the 
popular estimates of blood in all the ages, it will be 
well for us to consider what we have learned, in the 
line of blood-rites and of blood-customs, and in 
the direction of their religious involvings. Especially 
is it important for us to see where and how all this 
bears on the primitive and the still extant ceremony 
of covenanting by blood, with which we started in this 

From the beginning, and everywhere, blood seems 
to have been looked upon as pre-eminently the repre- 
sentative of life ; as, indeed, in a peculiar sense, life 
itself. The transference of blood from one organism to 
another has been counted the transference of life, with 
all that life includes. The inter-commingling of blood by 
its inter-transference has been understood as equivalent 
to an inter-commingling of natures. Two natures thus 


inter-commingled, by the inter-commingling of blood, 
have been considered as forming, thenceforward, one 
blood, one life, one nature, one soul in two organisms. 
The inter-commingling of natures by the Inter-com- 
mingling of blood has been deemed possible between 
man and a lower organism ; and between man and a 
higher organism, even between man and Deity, act- 
ually or by symbol , as well as between man and his 
immediate fellow. 

The mode of inter-transference of blood, with all 
that this carries, has been deemed practicable, alike by 
way of the lips and by way of the opened and Inter- 
flowing veins. It has been also represented by blood- 
bathing, by blood-anointing, and by blood-sprinkling ; 
or, again, by the inter-drinking of wine which was 
formerly commingled with blood itself in the drink- 
ing. And the yielding of one's life by the yielding of 
one's blood has often been represented by the yielding 
of the blood of a chosen and a suitable substitute. 
Similarly the blood, or the nature, of divinities, has 
been represented, vicariously, in divine covenanting, 
by the blood of a devoted and an accepted substitute. 
Inter-communion between the parties in a blood-cove- 
nant, has been a recognized privilege, in conjunction 
with any and every observance of the rite of blood- 
covenanting. And the body of the divinely accepted 
offering, the blood of which is a means of divine-hu- 


man inter-union, has been counted a very part of the 
divinity; and to partake of that body as food has been 
deemed equivalent to being nourished by the very 
divinity himself. 

Blood, as life, has been looked upon as belonging, 
in the highest sense, to the Author of all life. The 
taking of life has been seen to be the prerogative of 
its Author ; and only he who is duly empowered, for 
a season and for a reason, by that Author, for blood- 
taking in any case, has been supposed to have the 
right to the temporary exercise of that prerogative. 
Even then, the blood, as the life, must be employed 
under the immediate direction and oversight of its 
Author. The heart of any living organism, as the blood- 
source and the blood-fountain, has been recognized as 
the representative of its owner's highest personality, 
and as the diffuser of the issues of his life and nature. 

A covenant of blood, a covenant made by the inter- 
commingling of blood, has been recognized as the 
closest, the holiest, and the most indissoluble, compact 
conceivable. Such a covenant clearly involves an ab- 
solute surrender of one's separate self, and an irrevo- 
cable merging of one's individual nature into the dual, 
or the multiplied, personality included in the compact. 
Man's highest and noblest outreachings of soul have, 
therefore, been for such a union with the divine nature 
as is typified in this human covenant of blood. 


How it came to pass that men everywhere were so 
generally agreed on the main symbols of their religious 
yearnings and their religious hopes, in this realm of 
their aspirations, is a question which obviously admits 
of two possible answers. A common revelation from 
God may have been given to primitive man ; and all 
these varying yet related indications of religious striv- 
ings and aim may be but the perverted remains of the 
lessons of that misused, or slighted, revelation. On 
the other hand, God may originally have implanted 
the germs of a common religious thought in the 
mind of man, and then have adapted his successive 
revelations to the outworking of those germs. Which- 
ever view of the probable origin of these common 
symbolisms, all the world over, be adopted by any 
Christian student, the importance of the symbolisms 
themselves, in their relation to the truths of revelation, 
is manifestly the same. 

On this point, Kurtz has said, forcefully : "A com- 
parison of the religious symbols of the Old Testament 
with those of ancient heathendom shows that the 
ground and the starting point of those forms of relig- 
ion which found their appropriate expressions in 
symbols, was the same in all cases ; while the history 
of civilization proves that, on this point, priority cannot 
be claimed by the Israelites. But when instituting 

such an inquiry, we shall also find that the symbols 



which were transferred from the religions of nature to 
that of the spirit, first passed through the fire of divine 
purification, from which they issued as the distinctive 
theology of the Jews ; the dross of a pantheistic deifi- 
cation of nature having been consumed." 1 And as 
to even the grosser errors, and the more pitiable per- 
versions of the right, in the use of these world-wide 
religious symbolisms, Kurtz says, again : " Every error, 
however dangerous, is based on some truth misunder- 
stood, and . . . every aberration, however grievous, 
has started from a desire after real good, which had 
not attained its goal, because the latter was sought 
neither in the right way, nor by right means," 2 To 
recognize these truths concerning the outside religions 
of the world gives us an added fitness for the com- 
parison of the symbolisms we have just been consider- 
ing with the teachings of the sacred pages of revela- 
tion on the specific truths involved. 

Proofs of the existence of this rite of blood-covenant- 
ing have been found among primitive peoples of all 
quarters of the globe ; and its antiquity is carried back 
to a date long prior to the days of Abraham. All this 
outside of any indications of the rite in the text of 
the Bible itself. Are we not, then, in a position to turn 
intelligently to that text for fuller light on the subject ? 

1 Kurtz's History of the Old Covenant, L, 235. Hnd , 1 , 268 





AND now, before entering upon an examination of 
the Bible text in the light of these disclosures of 
primitive and universal customs, it may be well for me 
to say that I purpose no attempt to include or to ex- 
plain all the philosophy of sacrifice, and of the involved 
atonement. All my thought is, to ascertain what new 
meaning, if any, is found in the Bible teachings con- 
cerning the uses and the symbolism of blood, through 
our better understanding of the prevailing idea, among 
the peoples of the ancient world, that blood represents 
life ; that the giving of blood represents the giving of 
life ; that the receiving of blood represents the receiv- 
ing of life ; that the inter-commingling of blood rep- 
resents the inter-commingling of natures; and that 
a divine-human inter-union through blood is the basis 
of a divine-human inter-communion in the sharing 

of the flesh of the sacrificial offering as sacred food. 

18* 209 


Whatever other Bible teachings there are, beyond 
these, as to the meanings of sacrifice, or as to the 
nature of the atonement, it is not my purpose, in this 
investigation, to consider. 

In the days of Moses, when the Pentateuch is sup- 
posed to have been prepared, there were as we have 
already found certain well-defined views, the world 
over, concerning the sacredness of blood, and concern- 
ing the methods, the involvings, and the symbolisms, 
of the covenant of blood. This being so, we are not 
to look to the Bible record, as it stands, for the orig- 
inal institution of every rite and ceremony connected 
with blood-shedding, blood-guarding, and blood-using ; 
but we may fairly look at every Bible reference to 
blood in the light of the primitive customs known to 
have prevailed in the days of the Bible writing. 


The earliest implied reference to blood in the Bible 
text is the record of Abel's sacrifice. "And Abel was 
a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 
And in process of time it came to pass that Cain 
brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto 
the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings 
of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had 
respect unto Abel and to his offering : but unto Cain 


and to his offering he had not respect " * An inspired 
comment on this incident is : " By faith Abel offered 
unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through 
which he had witness borne to him that he was right- 
eous, God bearing witness in respect of [or, over] his 
gifts : and through it he [Abel] being dead yet speak- 
eth." 2 

Now, on the face of it, in the light of all that we 
know of primitive customs in this matter of the, blood- 
covenant, and apart from any added teachings in the 
Bible concerning the nature and meanings of different 
sacrifices, this narrative shows Abel lovingly and 
trustfully reaching out toward God with substitute 
blood, in order to be in covenant oneness with God ; 
while Cain merely proffers a gift from his earthly pos- 
sessions. Abel so trusts God that he gives himself 
to him. Cain defers to God sufficiently to make a 
present to him. The one shows unbounded faith ; the 
other shows a measure of affectionate reverence. It is 
the same practical difference as that which distinguished 
Ruth from Orpah when the testing time of their love 
for their mother-in-law, Naomi, had come to them 
alike. "And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but 
Ruth clave unto her." 3 No wonder that God counted 
Abel's unstinted proffer of himself, in faith, an accept- 
able sacrifice, and received it, as in inter-communion 
. 4:2-5. 3 Heb. II: 4. 5 Rufli 1 : 14. 


on the basis of inter-union ; while Cain's paltry gift, 
without any proffer of himself, won no approval from 
the Lord. 

Then there followed the unhallowed shedding of 
Abel's blood by Cain, and the crying out, as it were, 
of the spilled life of Abel unto its Divine Author. 3 
"The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from 
the ground," said the Lord to the guilty spiller of 
blood "And now cursed art thou from the ground, 
which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's 
blood from thy hand." Here, as elsewhere, the blood 
is pre-eminently the life ; and even when poured out 
on the earth, the blood does not lose its vitality. It 
still has its intelligent relations to its Author and 
Guardian ; 2 as the world has been accustomed to 
count a possibility, down to modern times. 3 

After the destruction of mankind by the deluge, 
when God would begin anew, as it were, by the re- 
vivifying of the world through the vestige of blood 
of life preserved in the ark, 4 he laid new emphasis 
on the sacredness of blood as the representative of 

1 Gen. 4: 10, ii. 

2 " For it must be observed, that by the outpouring of the blood, the 
life which was in it was not destioyed, though it was separated from 
the organism which before it had quickened : Gen. 4:10; comp. Heb. 
12: 24 (rrapa rbv 'A^eA); Apoc. 6: 10" (Westcott's Epistles of St. 
John, p. 34). 

3 See pages 143-147, supra. * See pages 1 10-1 13, supra. 


that life which is the essence of God himself. Noah's 
first act, on coming out from the ark, was to proffer 
himself and all living flesh in a fresh blood-covenant 
with the Lord. "And Noah builded an altar unto the 
Lord ; and took of every clean beast, and of every 
clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar." I 
From all that we know of the method of the burnt- 
offering, either from the Bible-text or from outside 
sources, it has, from the beginning, included the pre- 
liminary offering of the blood as the life to Deity, 
by its outpouring, around, or upon, the altar, with or 
without the accompaniment of libations of wine ; or, 
again, by its sprinkling upon the altar. 2 

It was then, when the spirit of Noah, in this cove- 
nant-seeking by blood, was recognized approvingly by 
the Lord, that the Lord smelled the sweet savor of 
the proffered offering, " the savor of satisfaction, or de- 
lectation," 3 to him, was in it, and he established a new 
covenant with Noah, giving commandment anew con- 
cerning the never-failing sacredness of blood : " Every 
moving thing that liveth shall be food for you ; as [freely 
as] the green herb, have I given you all [flesh]. But 
flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof 

1 Gen. 8 : 20. 

2 Exod. 24: 5, 6; 29: 15-25; Lev. i: 1-6, 10-12, 14, 15; 8: 18, 
19, etc. See also pages 102, 106-109, sxtpra. 

8 See Speaker's Commentary, in loco. 


[flesh with the blood In it], shall ye not eat. And 
surely your blood, the blood of your lives, will I re- 
quire ; at the hand of every beast will I require it : 
and at the hand of man, even at the hand of every 
man's brother, will I require the life of man. Whoso 
sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed : 
for in the image of God made he man." 1 Here, the 
blood of even those animals whose flesh might be 
eaten by man is forbidden for food ; because it is life 
itself, and therefore sacred to the Author of life. 2 And 
the blood of man must not be shed by man, except 
where man is made God's minister of justice, because 
man is formed in the image of God, and only God has 
a right to take away directly or by his minister the 
life from one bearing God's likeness. 

And this injunction, together with this covenant, 
preceded the ceremonial law of Moses; and it sur- 
vived that law as well. When the question came up 
in the apostolic conference at Jerusalem, on the occa- 
sion of the visit of Paul and Barnabas, concerning the 
duty of Gentile Christians to the Mosaic ceremonial 
law, the decision was explicit, that, while nothing 
which was of that ritual alone should be imposed as 
obligatory on the new believers, those essential ele- 

1 Gen. 9 : 3-6. 

2 "A man might not use another's life for the support of his physical 
life" (Westcott's Epistles of St. John, p. 34). 


ments of religious observance which were prior to 
Moses, and which were not done away with in Christ, 
should be emphasized in all the extending domain of 
Christianity. Spirituality in worship, personal purity, 
and the holding sacred to God all blood or life as 
the gift of God, an/i as the means of communion with 
God, must never be ignored in the realm of Christian 
duty " Write unto them, that they abstain from the 
pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from 
what is strangled, and from blood," 1 said the Apostle 
James, in announcing the decision of this conference ; 
and the circular letter to the Gentile churches was 
framed accordingly. Nor does this commandment seem 
ever to have been abrogated, in letter or in spirit. How- 
ever poorly observed by Christians, it stands to-day as it 
stood in the days of Paul, and in the days of Noah, a per- 
petual obligation, with all its manifold teachings of the 
blessed benefits of the covenant of blood. 2 


Again the Lord made a new beginning for the race 
in his start with Abraham as the father of a chosen 

1 See Acts 15 : 2-29 ; also 21 : 18-25. 

2 Those, indeed, who would put the dictum of the Church of Rome 
above the explicit commands of the Bible, can claim that that Church 
has affirmed the mere temporary natuie of this obligation, which the 
Bible makes perpetual. But apart from this, there seems to be no show 
of justification for the abrogation, or the suspension, of the command. 


and peculiar people in the world. And again the 
covenant of blood, or the covenant of strong-friend- 
ship as it is still called in the East, was the prominent 
feature in this beginning. The Apostle James says 
that "Abraham . . . was called the friend of 
God." l God himself, speaking through Isaiah, refers 
to Abraham, as " Abraham my friend " ; z and Jehosha- 
phat, in his extremity, calling upon God for help, 
speaks of " Abraham, thy friend." 3 And this applica- 
tion of the term " friend " to any human being, in his 
relations to God, is absolutely unique in the case of 
Abraham, in all the Old Testament record. Abraham, 
and only Abraham, was called " the friend of God." 4 
Yet the immediate narrative of Abraham's relations to 
God, makes no specific mention of this unique term 
" friend," as being then applied to Abraham. It is 
only as we recognize the primitive rite of blood- 
friendship in the incidents of that narrative, that we 
perceive clearly why and how God's covenant with 
Abraham was pre-eminently a covenant of friendship. 
" I will make 5 my covenant between me and thee, 

1 James 2: 23. * Isaiah 41: 8. S 2 Chron. 20: 7. 

4 The only instance in which it might seem that there was an excep- 
tion to this statement, is Exodus 33: n, where it is said, "The Lord 
spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend." 
But here the Hebrew word is re* a (JH) with the idea of " a compan- 
ion," or "a neighbor"; while the word applied to Abraham is ohebk 
a loving one." 5 See Appendix, infra, p. 322. 


and will multiply thee exceedingly," said the Lord to 
Abraham. 1 And again, " I will establish my covenant 
between me and thee and thy seed after thee through- 
out their generations for an everlasting covenant, to 
be a God unto thee ; and to thy seed after thee . . . 
And as for thee, thou shalt keep my covenant, thou, 
and thy seed after thee throughout their genera- 
tions." 2 And then there came the explanation, how 
Abraham was to enter into the covenant of blood- 
friendship with the Lord ; so that he might be called 
11 the friend of God." " This is my covenant, which 
ye shall keep, between me and you, and thy seed 
after thee ; every male among you shall be circum- 
cised. And ye shall be circumcised in the flesh of 
your foreskin; and it shall be a token of a cove- 
nant betwixt me and you." 3 The blood-covenant 
of friendship shall be consummated by your giving 
to me of your personal blood at the very source of 
paternity "under your girdle"; 4 thereby pledging, 
yourself to me, and pledging, also, to me, those who 
shall come after you in the line of natural descent 
"And my covenant [this covenant of blood-friendship] 
shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant." 5 

So, " in the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised," 
and thenceforward he bore in his flesh the evidence 

'Gen. 17: 2. 2 Gen. 17: 7-9. 8 Gen 17: 10, II. 

4 See page 174 f., supra. 5 Gen. 17 ; 13. 


that he had entered into the blood-covenant of friend- 
ship with the Lord. 1 To this day, indeed, Abraham is 
designated in all the East, as distinctively, " Khaleel- 
Allah, "the Friend of God," or " Ibraheem el-Khaleel," 
"Abraham the Friend" 2 the one Friend, of God. 

When a Jewish child is circumcised, it is commonly 
said of him, that he is caused " to enter into the cove- 
nant of Abraham " ; and, his god-father, or sponsor, is 
called Baal-bereeth? " Master of the covenant." 4 More- 

1 Bearing in the flesh the marks of one's devotedness to a divinity, is 
a widely observed custom in the East. Burton tells of the habit, in 
Mekkeh, of cutting three parallel gashes down the fleshy cheek of 
every male child ; and of the claim by some that these gashes " were 
signs that the scarred [one] was the servant of Allah's house " (Pil- 
grimage to Mecca and Medinah, third ed., p. 456). In India, there 
are various methods of receiving such flesh-maiks of devotedness. 
" One of the most common consists in stamping upon the shouldeis, 
chest, and other parts of the body, with a led-hot hon, ceitain maiks, 
to represent the armor [or livery] of their gods ; the impiessions of 
which are never effaced, but are accounted sacred, and are ostenta- 
tiously displayed as marks of distinctions" (Dubois's Des. of Man. 
and Cust. zn India, Part III., chap. 3). < e From hencefoith let no man 
trouble me/' says Paul : " for I bear branded on my body the maiks 
of Jesus" (Gal. 6: 17). 2 See Price's ffist. of Arabia, p 56. 

3 It is certainly noteworthy, that the Canaanitish god " Baal-be- 
reeth " (see Judges 8 : 33; 9:4) seems to have had its centre of woi- 
ship at, or near, Shechem ; and there was where the Canaanites were 
induced to seek, by circumcision, a part with the house of Jacob in the 
blood-covenant of Abraham (see Gen. 34: 1-31) 

4 See Godwyn's Moses a nd Aaron, p. 216 f. 


over, even down to modern times, the rite of circum- 
cision has included a recognition, however unconscious, 
of the primitive blood-friendship rite, by the custom of 
the ecclesiastical operator, as God's representative, re- 
ceiving into his mouth, and thereby being made a par- 
taker of, the blood mingled with wine, according to the 
method described among the Orientals, in the rite of 
blood-friendship, from the earliest days of history. 1 
It is a peculiarity of the primitive compact of blood- 

1 Buxtorf, who is a recognized authority, in the knowledge of Rabbini- 
cal literatme and of Jewish customs, says, on this point : " Cum deinde 
compater infantulum in sinu habet jacentem, turn Mohel sive circum- 
cisor euin e fasciis evolvit, pudendum ejus apprehendit, ejusque ante- 
liorem partem per cuticulam pioeputii comprehendit, granulumque 
pudendi ejus retioisum pi emit, quo facto cuticulam praputii fncat, ut ilia 
per id emortua mfantulus csesuram tanto minus sentiscat, Deinde cultel- 
lum circumcisorium e pueri astantis manu capit, claraque voce, Benedictus 
(inquit) esto tu Deus, Domme noster, Rex mundi, qui nos rnandatis tuis 
sanctificasti, nobisque pactum circumcisioms dedisti. Interim dum ille 
loquitur sic, paiticulam piseputn antenorem usque eo abscindit, ut capi- 
tellum pudendi nudum conspici queat, illamque festinanter in patellam 
arena ista plenam conjicit ; puero quoque isti, a quo acceperat, cultellum 
reddit circumcisorium ; ab alio vero poculum vino rubro (ceu dictum fuit) 
impletum, capit ; haurit ex eo quantum ore continere potest, quod mox 
super infantulum expuit, eoque sanguinem ejus abluit : in faciem quoque 
infantuh vini aliquid expuit, si eum vinbus defici conspexerit. Mox pu- 
dendum puelli ore comprehendit, et sanguims ex eodem quantumcunque 
potest, exugit, ut sangnis idem tanto citius se sistat ; sanguinem exuctum 
in alteium poculorum vino rubio refertorum, vel in patellam arena abun- 
dantem, expuit " (Synagoga Jttdaica, Cap. II.) 


friendship, that he who would enter into it must be 
ready to make a complete surrender of himself, in lov- 
ing trust, to him with whom he covenants. He must, 
in fact, so love and trust, as to be willing to merge 
his separate individuality in the dual personality of 
which he becomes an integral part. Only he who be- 
lieves in another unreservedly and fearlessly can take 
such a step intelligently. The record concerning 
Abraham stands : " He believed in the Lord ; and He 
counted it to him for righteousness/' 1 The Hebrew 
word heemcen (potfn), here translated "believed in," 
carries the idea of an unqualified committal of self to 
another. It is from the root aman (f$?) with the 
two-fold idea of " to be faithful " and " to trust." 2 Its 
correspondent in the Arabic, (amana, ^of , ) carries 
the same double idea, of a confident and an entire 
committal of self to another, in trust and in trust- 
worthiness. 3 Lane's definition 4 of the substantive 
from this root is : " The becoming true to the trust, 
with respect to which God has confided in one, by a 
firm believing of the heart." 5 Abraham so trusted the 

1 Gen. 15 : 6; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6; James 2 : 23. 

2 See Fuerst's Heb. Chald. Lex , s. v. 

3 See Freytag's Lex. Arab. Lat , s. v. 
4 See Lane's Arab* Eng. Lex., s. v. 

5 In the Chinese language, likewise, " the word for faithfulness means 
both to be trustworthy, and also to trust to, and refers chiefly to friend- 
ship." (Edldns's Rehg. in China, p. 118.) 


Lord, that he was ready to commit himself to the 
Lord, as in the rite of blood-friendship. Therefore 
the Lord counted Abraham's spirit of loving and 
longing trust, as the equivalent of a spiritual likeness 
with himself; and the Lord received Abraham, by his 
circumcision, into the covenant of blood-friendship. 1 
Or, as the Apostle James states it: "Abraham be- 
lieved [in] God, and it was reckoned unto him for 
righteousness ; and he was called the friend of God." 2 
Here is the doctrine of " imputation," with real life in 
it; in lieu of a hard commercial transaction, as some 
have viewed it. 

The recognition of the covenant of blood in the rite 
of circumcision, throws light on an obscure passage 
in the life of Moses, as recorded in Exodus 4 : 20-26. 
Moses, himself a child of the covenant, had neglected 
the circumcision of his own first-born ; and so he had 
been unfaithful to the covenant of Abraham. While 
on his way from the Wilderness of Sinai to Egypt, 

1 The Rabbis give a pre-eminent place to circumcision as the rite by 
which Abraham became the Friend of God. They say (see citations 
from the Talmud, in Nethvooth Olarn, p. 367 ): " Abraham was not 
called peifect before he was circumcised ; and because of the merit of 
circumcision was the covenant made with him concerning the inherit- 
ance of the Land. It [circumcision] also saves from the punishment 
of hell, for our sages have said, that Abraham sits at the gates of hell 
and suffers no one to enter in there who is circumcised." 
2 James 2 : 23. 


with a message from God to Pharaoh, concerning the 
un-covenanted first-born of the Egyptians, 1 Moses was 
met by a startling providence, and came face to face 
with death possibly with a bloody death of some 
sort. " The Lord met him, and sought to kill him," 
it is said. It seems to have been perceived, both by 
Moses and his wife, that they were being cut off 
from a farther share in God's covenant-plans for 
the descendants of Abraham, because of their failure 
to conform to their obligations in the covenant of 

" Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the fore- 
skin of her son, and cast it at [made it touch] his 
[Moses'] feet; and she said, Surely a bridegroom of 
blood [one newly bound through blood], art thou to 
me. So He [the Lord] let him [Moses] alone [He 
spared him, as one newly true to the covenant of 
Abraham, and newly safe within its bounds]. Then 
she [Zipporah] said [again], A bridegroom of blood 
art thou, because of the circumcision ; " or, as the 
margin renders it : "A bridegroom of blood [art thou] 
in regard of the circumcision." z 

The Hebrew word khathan (t^n), here translated 
" bridegroom," has, as its root idea, the binding through 
severing, the covenanting by blood ; 8 an idea that is 

1 Exod. 4 : 21-23. 2 Exod. 4 ; 25, 26. 

3 See Fuerst's ffeb. Chald. Lex., s. v. 


in the marriage-rite, as the Orientals view it, 1 and that 
is in the rite of circumcision, also. Indeed, in the 
Arabic, the corresponding term (khatan, <j*^ ), is ap- 
plied interchangeably to one who is a relation by the 
way of one's wife, and to one who is circumcised. 2 
Hence, the words of Zipporah would imply that, by 
this rite of circumcision, she and her child were 
brought into blood-covenant relations with the de- 
scendants of Abraham, and her husband also was now 
saved to that covenant ; whereas before they were in 
danger of being covenanted with a bloody death. It 
is this idea which seems to be in the Targum of Onke- 
los, where it renders Zipporah's first words : " By the 
blood of this circumcision, a khathna [a blood-won 
relation] is given to us ;" and her second speech : " If 
the blood of this circumcision had not been given [to 
us; then we had had] a khathna [a blood-won rela- 
tion] of slaughter [of death]." It is as though Zippo- 
rah had said : " We are now newly covenanted to each 
other, and to God, by blood ; whereas, but for this, we 
should have been covenanted to slaughter [or death] 
by blood." 

1 See Deut. 22 : 13-21. To this day, in the East, an exhibit of blood- 
stains, as the indubitable proof of a consummated covenant of marriage, 
is common. See, Niebuhr's Beschreibung von Arabien, pp. 35-39; 
Burckhardt's Arabic Proverbs, p. 140; Lane's Mod. Egypt , 1 , 221, note. 

2 See Lane, and Freytag, s. w., Khatan^ Khatana* 



After the formal covenant of blood had been made be- 
tween Abraham and Jehovah, there was a specific testing 
of Abraham's fidelity to that covenant, as if in evidence 
of the fact that it was no empty ceremony on his part, 
whereby he pledged his blood, his very life, in its suc- 
cessive generations, to Jehovah, in the rite of circum- 
cision. The declaration of his "faith," and the promise 
of his faithfulness, were to be justified, in their manifest 
sincerity, by his explicit "works" in their direction. 

All the world over, men who were in the covenant of 
blood-friendship were ready or were supposed to be 
ready to give not only their lives for each other, but 
even to give, for each other, that which was dearer to 
them than life itself. And, all the world over, men who 
pledged their devotedness to their gods were ready to 
surrender to their gods that which they held as dearest 
and most precious even to the extent of their life, and 
of that which was dearer than life. Would Abraham do 
as much for his Divine Friend, as men would do for their 
human friends ? Would Abraham surrender to his God 
all that the worshipers of other gods were willing to 
surrender in proof of their devotedness ? These were 
questions yet to be answered before the world. 

"And it came to pass after these things, that God 
did prove Abraham [did put him to the test, or the 


proof, of his friendship], and said unto him, Abraham; 
and he said, Here am I. And he said, Take now thy 
son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and 
get thee unto the land of Moriah ; and offer him there 
for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which 
I will tell thee of." * And Abraham rose up instantly 
to respond to the call of his Divine Friend. 

Just here it is important to consider two or three 
points at which the Western mind has commonly failed 
to recognize the Oriental thought, in connection with 
such a transaction as this. 

An Oriental father prizes an only son's life far more 
than he prizes his own. He recognizes it, to be sure, 
as at his own disposal ; but he would rather surrender 
any other possession than that. For an Oriental to 
die without a son, is a terrible thought 3 His life is a 
failure. His future is blank. But with a son to take 
his place, an Oriental is, in a sense, ready to die. 
When therefore an Oriental has one son, if the choice 
must be between the cutting short of the father's life, 
or of the son's, the former would be the lesser surren- 

1 Gen. 22 : I, 2. 

2 " Heaven awaits not one who is destitute of a son," say the Brah- 
mans (See page 194, supra]. See, also, e. g, Thomson's Land and 
Book, I., 177; Robertas Orient. HI ', p. 53 f., Ginsburg's " Illustra- 
tions," in Bible Educator, I., 30 ; Lane's Mod. Egypt,, I., 68. Living- 
stone's Trav. and Res. in So. Af, p. 140; Pierotti's Oust, and Trad, 
of Pal., pp. 177 f., 190 f. 


der; the latter would be far greater. Pre-eminently 
did this truth have force in the case of Abraham, 
whose pilgrim-life had been wholly with reference to 
the future ; and whose earthly-joy and earthly-hopes 
centered in Isaac, the son of his old age. For Abra- 
ham to have surrendered his own toil-worn life, now that 
a son of promise was born to him, would have been a 
minor matter, at the call of God. But for Abraham to 
surrender that son, and so to become again a child- 
less, hopeless old man, was a very different matter. 
Only a faith that would neither question nor reason, 
only a love that would neither fail nor waver, could 
meet an issue like that The surrender of an only 
son by an Oriental was not, therefore, as it is often 
deemed in the Western mind, a father's selfish yielding 
of a lesser substitute for himself; 1 but it was the giving 
of the one thing which he had power to surrender, 
which was more precious to him than himself. The 
difference here is as great as that between the enforced 
sending, by an able-bodied citizen, of a " substitute " 
defender of the sender's country in a war-time draft, 
and the willing sending to the front, by an aged 
father, of his loved and only son, at the first signal of 
his country's danger. The one case has in it more 
than a suggestion of cowardly shirking; the other 
shows only a loyal and self-forgetful love of country. 
1 See illustiations of this error in Tylor's Prim. Cult, II , 403. 


Again, we are liable to think of the surrender of a 
life, as the dooming to death ; and of a sacrificial out- 
pouring of blood, as necessarily an expiatory offering. 
In the case of the only son sent into battle by his 
patriotic father, death may be an incident to the trans- 
action ; but the gift of the son is the gift of his life, 
whether he shall live or die. And although the war 
itself be caused by sin, and be a result, and so a punish- 
ment, of sin, the son is sent into it, not in order that he 
may bear punishment, but that he may avert its disas- 
trous consequences, even at the cost of his life with 
the necessity of his death. 

This idea of the surrender of an only son, not in ex- 
piation of guilt, but in proof of unselfish and limitless 
affection, runs down through the ages, apart from any 
apparent trace of connection with the tradition of 
Abraham and Isaac. It is seen : in India, in the story 
of the sacrifice of Siralen, the only son of Sirutunden 
and Vanagata-ananga, as a simple proof of their loving 
devotedness to Vishnoo ; * in Arabia, in the story of 
the proffered slaying of the two only children of a king, 
in order to restore to life by their blood his dearly loved 
friend and servant, who had been turned to stone ; 2 in 
the Norseland, in the similar story of the king and his 
friend and servant " Faithful John ; " 3 in Great Britain, in 
1 See page 185 f., supra. 2 See page 119 f., supra. 

8 See page 120, supra. 


the story of Amys and Amylion, the one of these friends 
sacrificing his two only children for the purpose of 
curing the other friend of the leprosy j 1 and so in many 
another guise. 3 Whatever other value attaches to these 
legends, they show most clearly, that the conception of 
such a surrender as that to which Abraham was called 
in the sacrifice of Isaac, was not a mere outgrowth of the 
customs of human sacrifices to malignant divinities, in 
Phoenicia and Moab and the adjoining countries, in the 
days of Abraham and earlier. 3 There was a sentiment 
involved, which is everywhere recognized as the noblest 
and purest of which humanity is capable. 

If, indeed, there were any reluctance to accept this 
simple explanation of an obvious view of the test of 
friendship to which God subjected Abraham, because 
of its possible bearing on the recognized symbolism 
of the transaction, then it would be sufficient to remem- 
ber, that one view of such a transaction is not necessarily 
its only view. Whatever other view be taken of the 
fact and the symbolism of God's call on Abraham to 
surrender to him his only son, it is obvious that, as a 
fact, God did test, or prove, Abraham his friend, by 
asking of him the very evidence of his loving and un- 
selfish devotedness to him, which has been, everywhere 

x See page 117, supra. * See page 118 f., 120 f., supra. 

3 See discussions of this point, by Hengstenberg, Kurtz, Oehler, 
Ewald, Kuenen, Lange, Keil and Delitzsch, Stanley, Mozeley, etc. 


and always, reckoned the highest and surest evidence 
possible of the truest and holiest friendship. And this 
may well be looked at, also, as a symbol of God's 
purpose of surrendering his only Son, in proof of 
his fidelity to his blood-covenant of friendship with 
Abraham and Abraham's true seed forever. 

" Greater love [in friendship] hath no man than this, 
that a man lay down his life for his friends ; 1>l and no 
man, as the Oriental mind views it, can so utterly lay 
down his life, as when he lays down the larger life of 
his only son. Abraham showed himself capable of 
even such friendship as this, in his blood-covenant with 
Jehovah; and when he had manifested his spirit 
of devotedness, he was told to stay his hand and 
spare his son : the will was accepted for the deed. 
" Yea, he that had gladly received the promises, was 
offering up his only begotten son ; even he of whom 
it was said, In Isaac shall thy seed be called : account- 
ing that God is able to raise up even from the dead ; 
from whence he did also in a parable receive him 
back." 2 Then it was, that "the Angel of the Lord 
called unto Abraham a second time out of heaven and 
said, By myself have I sworn [by my life], saith the 
Lord, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not 
withheld thy son, thine only son : that in blessing I 
will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy 
x john 15: 13. a Heb. II : 17-19. 



seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which 
is upon the seashore ; and thy seed shall possess the 
gate of his enemies ; and in thy seed shall all the 
nations of the earth be blessed: because thou hast 
[even to this extent] obeyed my voice." * The blood- 
covenant of friendship between Jehovah and Abraham 
had more meaning in it than ever, through its testing 
and its triumph, in this transaction. 

And it is on this record, and apparently in this view 
of the record, that the Apostle James says : " Was 
not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he 
offered up Isaac his son upon the altar ? Thou seest 
that faith wrought with his works, and by works was 
faith made perfect [consummated] ; and the Scripture 
was fulfilled which saith, And Abraham believed God, 
and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness ; and 
he was called the friend of God." 


There came, again, a time when the Lord would 
give fresh evidence of his fidelity to his covenant of 
blood-friendship with Abraham. Again a new start 
was to be made in the history of redemption. The 
seed of Abraham was in Egypt, and the Lord would 
bring thence that seed, for its promised inheritance in 

1 Gen. 22 . 15-18. 2 James 2 : 21-23. 


Canaan. The Egyptians refused to let Israel go, at 
the call of the Lord. The Lord sent a series of strokes 
or "plagues" upon the Egyptians, to enforce their 
obedience to his summons. And first, he turned the 
waters of Egypt into blood ; so that there was noth- 
ing for the Egyptians to drink save that which, as the 
representative of life, was sacred to their gods, and 
mjist not be tasted. 1 So on, from " plague" to "plague" 
^from stroke to stroke; until the Lord's sentence went 
' forth against all the uncovenanted first-born of Egypt 
Then it was that the Lord gave another illustration of 
the binding force of the unfailing covenant of blood 

In the original covenant of blood-friendship between 
Abraham and the Lord, it was Abraham who gave of 
his blood in token of the covenant. Now, the Lord 
was to give of his blood, by substitution, in re-affirma- 
tion of that covenant, with the seed of Abraham his 
friend. So the Lord commanded the choice of a lamb, 
"without blemish, a male of the first year"; 2 typical 
in its qualities, and representative in its selection. The 
blood of that lamb was to be put " on the two side 
posts and on the lintel " of every house of a descend- 
ant of Abraham; above and along side of every 
passer through the doorway. 3 "And the blood shall 
be to you for a token upon the houses where ye 
1 SeeExod. 4: 9; 7: 17-21. 2 SeeExod. 12: 1-6. 

3 See a reference to a similar custom in China, at page 153, supra. 


are/' said the Lord to this people : " and when I see 
the blood [the token of my blood-covenant with Abra- 
ham], I will pass over you, and there shall no plague 
be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of 

Egypt" 1 

The flesh of the chosen lamb was to be eaten by 
the Israelites, reverently, as an indication of that inter- 
communion which the blood-friendship rite secures; 
and in accordance with a common custom of the 
primitive blood-covenant rite, everywhere. 

To this day, as I can testify from personal observa- 
tion, the Samaritans on Mount Gerizim (where alone 
in all the world the passover-blood is now shed, year 
by year), bring to mind the blood-covenant aspects of 
this rite, by their uses of that sacred blood. The 
spurting life-blood of the consecrated lambs is caught 
in basins, as it flows from their cut throats ; and not 
only are all the tents promptly marked with the blood 
as a covenant-token, but every child of the covenant 
receives also a blood-mark, on his forehead, between 
his eyes, 2 in evidence of his relation to God in the 
covenant of blood-friendship. 

It will be remembered that in the primitive rite of 
blood-friendship a blood-stained record of the cove- 
nant is preserved in a small leathern case, to be worn 
as an amulet upon the arm, or about the neck, by 

1 Exod. 12: 7-13. 2 See, again, at pages 154, supra. 


him who has won a. friend forever in this sacred rite. 1 
It would even seem that this was the custom in ancient 
Egypt, where the red amulet, which represented the 
blood of Isis, was worn by those who claimed a blood- 
friendship with the gods. 2 It is a noteworthy fact, that 
it was in conjunction with the institution of this pass- 
over rite of the Lord's blood-friendship with Israel, as 
a permanent ceremonial, that the Lord declared of this 
rite and its token : " It shall be for a sign upon thine 
hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes." 3 And it is 
on the strength of this injunction, that the Jews have, 
to this day, been accustomed to wear upon their fore- 
heads, and again upon their arm as a crown and as 
an armlet a small leathern case, as a sacred amulet, 
or as a " phylactery" ; containing a record of the pass- 
over-covenant between the Lord and the seed of Abra- 
ham his friend. Not the law itself, but the substance 
of the covenant between the Lawgiver and his people, 
was the text of this amulet record. It included 
Exodus 13: 310, ii 16, with its reference to God's 
deliverance of his people from bondage, to the institu- 
tion of the passover feast, and to the consecration of 

1 See page 7 f , supra. 

2 See page 81 f., supra. It is, indeed, by no means improbable, that the 
Hebrew word t6taph6th (niflBICO), translated "frontiers," as applied to 
the phylacteries was an Egyptian word. Its etymology has been a puz- 
zle to th critics. 3 S eeExod. I3 : 11-16 


the redeemed first-born; also Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, 
13-22, with its injunction to entire and unswerving 
fidelity, in the covenant thus memorialized. 

The incalculable importance of the symbolism of 
the phylacteries, in the estimation of the Lord's peo- 
ple, has been recognized, as a fact, by both Jewish and 
Christian scholars, even after their primary meaning 
has been lost sight of through a strange dropping 
out of sight of the primitive rite of blood-covenanting, 
so familiar in the land of Egypt and in the earlier and 
later homes of the Hebrews. The Rabbis even held 
that God himself, as the other party in this blood- 
covenant, wore the phylacteries, as its token and 
memorial. 1 Among other passages in support of this, 
they cited Isaiah 49: 16: "Behold I have graven 
thee upon the palms of my hands " ; and Isaiah 62 : 
8 : " The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by 
the arm of his strength." Farrar, referring to this 
claim of the Rabbis, says, " it may .have had some 
mystic meaning"; 2 and certainly the claim corres- 
ponds singularly with the thought and with the cus- 
toms of the rite of blood-covenanting. To this day 
many of the Syrian Arabs swear, as a final and a 
most sacred oath, by their own blood as their own 

1 See references to Zohar> Pt. II., Fol. 2, by Farrar, in Smith- 
Hackett's Bible Dictionary, Art. "Frontlets." 

2 Smith-Hackett's Bib. Diet., Art. " Frontlets." 


life ; 1 and in making the covenant of blood-friendship 
they draw the blood from the upper arm, because, as 
they explain it, the arm is their strength. 2 The cry 
of the Egyptian soul to his god, in his resting on the 
covenant of blood, was, " Give me your arm ; I am 
made as ye." 3 It is not strange, therefore, that those 
who had the combined traditions of Egypt and of 
Syria should see a suggestion of the covenant of 
blood-friendship in the inspired assurance: "The 
Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm 
of his strength," It is by no means improbable, 
indeed, that the universal custom of lifting up the arm 
to God in a solemn oath 4 was a suggestion of swear- 

1 On this point I have the emphatic testimony of intelligent native 
Syrians. "As I live, saith the Loid" or more literally, " I, living, 
saith the Lord." " For when God made promise to Abraham, since 
he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself" by his life. 
(Comp. Isa. 49 : 18; Jer. 22 : 24; Ezek. 5 : II ; Heb. 6: 13 ) 

2 This also I am assured of, by native Syrians. One who had lesided 
in both Syria and Upper Egypt told me, that in Syria, in the rite of 
blood-friendship, the blood is taken from the arm as the symbol of 
strength; while in portions of Africa wheie the legs are counted 
stronger than the arms, through the training of the people as runners 
rather than as burden-bearers, the leg supplies the blood for this rite. 
(See reference to Stanley and Mirambo's celebration of this rite at pages 
18-20, sitpra^ s gee pa ge 79, supra. 

4 See e. g. Gen. 14: 22; Dan. 12 : 7. " It is an interesting fact, that 
many of the images of the gods of the heathen have the right hand 
lifted up," (Robert's Orient. HI. of Scrip., p. 20. J 


ing by one's blood, by proffering it in its strength, as 
in the inviolable covenant of sacred friendship with 
God So, again, in the "striking hands " as a form of 
sacred covenanting 1 ; the clasping of hands, in blood. 
The Egyptian amulet of blood-friendship was red, 
as representing the blood of the gods. The Egyptian 
word for " red/* sometimes stood for ' ' blood." 2 The 
sacred directions in the Book of the Dead were written 
in red ; s hence follows our word " rubrics." The Rabbis 
say that, when persecution forbade the wearing of the 
phylacteries with safety, a red thread might be sub- 
stituted for this token of the covenant with the Lord. 4 
It was a red thread which Joshua gave to Rahab as a 
token of her covenant relations with the people of the 
Lord. 5 The red thread, in China, to-day, as has 
been already shown, binds the double cup, from which 
the bride and bridegroom drink their covenant draught 
of " wedding wine " ; as if in symbolism of the coven- 
ant of blood. 8 And it is a red thread which in India, 
to-day, is used to bind a sacred amulet around the 
arm or the neck. 7 Among the American Indians, 

1 See Prov. 6 : I ; II : 15 (margin) ; 22 : 24-26. 

2 See page 47, sttpra. 

8 See Lepsms's exemplar of the Todtenbuch; also Birch, in Bunsen's 
gypf$ Place, V., 125. 

4 See Farrar's article on " Frontlets," in Smith-Hackett's Bib. Die. 

5 Joshua 2 : 18-20. See pages 93 f., supra. 

T See Robert's Orient HL of Scrip., p. 20. 


" scarlet, or red," is the color which stands for sacri- 
fices, or for sacrificial blood, in all their picture paint- 
ing; and the shrine, or tunkan, which continues to 
have its devotees, " is painted red, as a sign of active 
[or living] worship." 1 The same is true of the 
shrines in India ; 2 the color red shows that worship is 
still living there ; red continues to stand for blood. 

The two covenant tokens of blood-friendship with 
God circumcision and the phylacteries are, by the 
Rabbis, closely linked in their relative importance. 
" Not every Israelite is a Jew," they say, " except he 
has two witnesses the sign of circumcision and phy- 
lacteries " ; 3 the sign given to Abraham, and the sign 
given to Moses. 

In the narration of King Saul's death, as given in 
2 Samuel i ; 1-16, the young Amalekite, who reports 
Saul's death to David, says : " I took the crown that 
was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm 
[the emblems of his royalty], and have brought them 
hither unto my lord." The Rabbis, in their paraphra- 
sing of this passage, 4 claim that it was the phylactery, 
"the frontlet" (totephta) rather than a "bracelet," which 
was on the arm of King Saul : as if the king of the 

1 Lynd's Hist, of Dakotas, p. 81. 
2 Bayard Taylors India, China, and Japan, p. 52. 

3 See Home and Syn. of Mod. Jew, p. 5. 
* See Targum, in Buxtorf 's Bibha Rabbinica, in loco. 


covenant-people of Jehovah would not fail to be with- 
out the token of Jehovah's covenant with that people. 
So firmly fixed was the idea of the appropriateness 
and the binding force of these tokens of the covenant, 
that their use, in one form or another, was continued 
by Christians, until the custom was denounced by 
representative theologians and by a Church Council. 
In the Catacombs of Rome, there have been found 
" small caskets of gold, or other metal, for containing 
a portion of the Gospels, generally part of the first 
chapter of John [with its covenant promises to all who 
believe on the true Paschal Lamb], which were worn 
on the neck," as in imitation of the Jewish phylacter- 
ies. These covenant tokens were condemned by Iren- 
aeus, Augustine, Chrysostom, and by the Council of 
Laodicea, as a relic of heathenism. J 


When rescued Israel had reached Mount Sinai, and 
a new era for the descendants of Abraham was en- 
tered upon, by the issue of the divinely given charter 
of a separate nationality, the covenant of blood- 
friendship between the Lord and the seed of the Lord's 
friend was once more recognized and celebrated. 
"And Moses came and told the people all the words 
of the Lord, and all the judgments : and all the peo- 

1 See Jones's Credulities Past and Present, p. 188. 


pie answered with one voice, and said, All the words 
which the Lord hath spoken will we do. And Moses 
wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in 
the morning [or, ' prepared for a new start ' as that 
phrase means], 1 and builded an altar under the mount, 
and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of 
Israel. And he sent young men of the children of 
Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed 
peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord;" 2 not sin-offer- 
ings are named, but burnt-offerings, of consecration, and 
peace-offerings, of communion. And now observe the 
celebration of the symbolic rite of the blood-covenant 
between the Lord and the Lord's people, with the 
substitute blood accepted on both sides, and with the 
covenant record agreed upon. "And Moses took half 
of the blood, and put it in basins ; and half of the 
blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the 
book [the record] of the covenant, and read in the audi- 
ence of the people : and they said, All that the Lord 
hath spoken will we do, and be obedient And Moses 
took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people [half 
of it he sprinkled on the Lord's altar, and half of it 
he sprinkled on the Lord's people. The writer of 
Hebrews 8 says that Moses sprinkled blood on the 
book, also ; thus blood-staining the record of the cove- 
nant, according to the custom in the East, to-day], 

^Kadesh-Barnea, p. 382, note. 2 Exod. 24 : 3-6. * Heb. 9 : 19. 


and [Moses] said, Behold the blood of the covenant, 
which the Lord hath made with you concerning all 
these words [or, as the margin renders it, * upon all 
these conditions/ in the written compact]. Then 
went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and 
seventy of the elders of Israel. . . . And they 
beheld God, and did eat and drink" j 1 as in the social 
inter-communion, which commonly accompanies the 
rite of blood-friendship. 

When Abraham was brought into the covenant of 
blood-friendship with Jehovah, it was his own blood 
which Abraham devoted to Jehovah. When Jehovah 
recognized anew this covenant of blood-friendship 
in behalf of the seed of his friend, Jehovah provided 
the substitute blood, for its symbolizing in thepassover. 
When united Israel was to be inducted into the privi- 
leges of this covenant of blood-friendship at Mount 
Sinai, half of the blood came from the one party, and 
half of the blood came from the other party, to the 
sacred compact ; both portions being supplied from a 
common and a mutually accepted symbolic substitute. 


With the establishment of the Mosaic law, there 
was an added emphasis laid on the sacredness of 
blood, which had been insisted on in the Noachic 
1 See Exod. 24: i-u. 


covenant; and many new illustrations were divinely 
given of the possibilities of an ultimate union with 
God through inter-flowing blood, and of present com- 
munion with God through the sharing of the substi- 
tute flesh of a sacrificial victim. 

"Ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of 
fowl or beast, in any of your dwellings. Whosoever 
it be that eateth any blood, that soul shall be cut off 
from his people." l " Whatsoever man there be of the 
house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among 
them, that eateth any manner of blood ; I will set my 
face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut 
him off from among his people. For the life [the 
soul] of the flesh is in the blood : and I have given it 
to you upon the altar to make atonement for your 
souls : for it is the blood that maketh atonement by 
reason of the life [by reason of its being the life]. 
Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul 
of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that 
is among you eat blood." 3 " For as to the life of all 
flesh, the blood thereof is all one with the life thereof; 
therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall 
eat the blood of no manner of flesh : for the life of all 
flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be 
cutoff." 3 

Because of sin, death has passed upon man. Man 

1 Lev. 7: 26. 2 Lev. 17: 10-12. 3 Lev. 17: 14. 



can have new life only from the Author of life. A 
transfusion of life is, as it were, a transfusion of blood ; 
for, " of all flesh, the blood thereof is all one with the 
life thereof." If, indeed, the death-possessed man 
could enter into a blood-covenant with the Author of 
life, could share the life of him who is Life, then 
the dead might have new life in a new nature ; and the 
far separated sinner might be brought into oneness 
with God ; finding atonement in the cleansing flow of 
the new blood thus applied. So it pleased God to ap- 
point substitute blood upon the altar of witness between 
the sinner and Himself, as a symbol of that atonement 
whereby the sinner might, through faith, become a 
partaker of the divine nature. " The wages of sin is 
death ; but the free gift of God is eternal life " l in 
that foreshadowed divine blood which the blood of 
beasts, offered on the altar, can, for a time, typify. 
Blood even the blood of beasts thus made sacred, 
as a holy symbol, must never be counted as a common 
thing ; but it must be held, ever reverently, as a token 
of that life which is the sinner's need ; and which is 
God's grandest gift and God's highest prerogative. 

In the line of this teaching, the command went 
forth : " What man soever there be of the house of 
Israel, that killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat in the 
camp, or that killeth it without the camp, and hath 

1 Rom. 6: 23. 


not brought it unto the door of the tent of meeting, to 
offer it [with its blood] as an oblation unto the Lord 
before the tabernacle of the Lord : blood shall be 
imputed unto that man ; he hath shed blood [improp- 
erly] ; and that man shall be cut off from among his 
people : to the end that the children of Israel may 
bring their sacrifices, which they sacrifice in the open 
field, even that they may bring them unto the Lord, 
unto the door of the tent of meeting, unto the priest, 
and sacrifice them for sacrifices of peace-offering unto 
the Lord. And the priest shall sprinkle the blood 
upon the altar of the Lord at the door of the tent of 
meeting ; and burn the fat for a sweet savour unto the 
Lord/ 7 * The children of Israel were, at all times and 
everywhere, to reach out after communion and union 
with God, through the surrender of their personal 
selves in the surrender of their substitute blood with 
its divinely appointed symbolism of communion and 
union with God " in the blood of the eternal coven- 
ant " of divine friendship. 2 

And again : " Whatsoever man there be of the 
children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn 
among them, which taketh in hunting any beast or 
fowl that may be eaten ; he shall pour out the blood 
thereof, and cover it with the dust." s If he be at a 
distance from the tabernacle, so that he cannot bring 

1 Lev. 17: 3-6. 2 Comp Heb. 13: 20. 8 Lev. 17: 13. 


the blood for an oblation at the altar, he must, at all 
events, reverently pour out the blood as unto God, 
and cover it as he would a human body in a grave. 
And to this day this custom prevails widely through- 
out the East; not among Jews alone, but among 
Christians and Muhammadans, as also among those 
of other religions. 1 

Under the Mosaic ritual, the forms and the symbol- 
isms of sacrifice were various. But through them all, 
where blood was an element, in the sin-offering, in 
the trespass-offering, in the burnt-offering, in the 
peace-offering, blood always represented life, never 
death. Death was essential to its securing ; but, when 
secured, blood was life. Death, as the inevitable 
wages of sin, had already passed unto all men ; and 
" death reigned from Adam to Moses " ; but, with the 
full disclosure of the law, in Moses, which made sin 
apparent, there came, also, a disclosure of an atone- 
ment for sin, and of a cure for its consequences. 
Death was already here ; now came the assurance of 
an attainable life. The sinner, in the very article 
of death, was shown that he might turn, in self-surren- 
der and in loving trust, with a proffer of his own 

1 A traveler in Mauritius, describing a Hindoo sacrifice theie, of a he- 
goat, in fulfilment of a vow, says : " It was killed on soft ground, 
where the blood would sink into the earth, and leave no trace" (Pike's 
Sub-Tropical Rambles, p. 223). See also page 109, supra. 


life, by substitute blood, to God; and that he might 
reach out hopefully after inter- union with God, by the 
sharing of the divine-nature in the unfailing covenant 
of divine-human blood-friendship. Thus "not as the 
trespass [with its mere justice of punishment ; but] so 
also [and ' much more/ of grace alone,] is the free gift 
[of life to the justly dead]." 1 

All the detailed requirements of the Mosaic ritual, 
and all the specific teachings of the Rabbis, as well, 
go to show the pre-eminence of the blood in the sacrifi- 
cial offerings ; go to show, that it is the life (which the 
blood is), and not the death (which is merely necessary 
to the securing of the blood), of the victim, that is the 
means of atonement ; that gives the hope of a sinner's 
new inter-union with God. 

In a commentary on a Talmudic tract, on The Day 
of Atonement, Rabbi Obadiah of Barttenora, notes the 
fact, 2 that in the choice by lot of the priests who were 
to have a part in the daily sacrifice, the priest first 
selected " obtained the right [of priority], and sprink- 
led the blood upon the altar, after he had received it in 
the vessel for the purpose ; for he who sprinkled the 
blood [is the one who had] received the blood. The 
next priest to him killed the sacrifice, and this notwith- 

1 Rom. 5 : 12-21. 

2 See Quarterly Statement of Pales. Expl. Fund, for July, 1885, pp. 



standing [the fact] that the slaying preceded the re- 
ceiving of the blood ; because the office of sprinkling 
was higher than that of slaying; for the slaying was law- 
ful if done by a stranger ; which was not the case with 
the sprinkling." The death of the victim was a minor 
matter : it was the victim's life, its blood which was 
its life, that had chief value and sacredness. 

On this same point Dr. Edersheim says: 1 "The 
Talmud declares the offering of birds, so as to secure 
the blood [so as to secure that which was pre-eminently 
precious] to have been the most difficult part of a 
priest's work. For the death of the [victim of the] 
sacrifice was only a means towards an end ; that end 
being the shedding and sprinkling of the blood> by 
which the atonement was really made. The Rabbis 
mention a variety of rules observed by the priest who 
caught up the blood all designed to make the best 
provision for its proper sprinkling. * Thus, the priest 
was to catch up the blood in a silver vessel pointed at 
the bottom, so that it could not be put down ; and to 
keep it constantly stirred, to preserve the fluidity of 
the blood In the sacrifice of the red heifer, however, 
the priest caught the blood directly in his left hand, 
and sprinkled it with his right towards the Holy 
Place: while in that of the leper, one of the two priests 
received the blood in the vessel ; the other [received 

1 The Temple, Its Ministry and Services, p. 88, f. 


it] in his hand, from which he anointed the purified 

Recognizing the truth that in the sacrifices of the 
Mosaic ritual " consecration by blood is consecration 
in a living union with Jehovah," Professor W Robert- 
son Smith observes, 1 that " in the ordinary atoning 
sacrifices the blood is not applied to the people [it is 
merely poured out Godward, as if in sign of life sur- 
render] ; but in the higher forms, as in the sacrifice for 
the whole congregation (Lev. 4: 13 seq\ the priest at 
least dips his hand in it, and so puts the bond of blood 
between himself, as the people's representative, and the 
altar, as the point of contact with God." 2 And so, on 
the basis of the root-idea of the primitive rite of the 
covenant of blood, an inter-union is symbolized be- 
tween the returning sinner and his God. 

The aim of all the Mosaic sacrifices was, a restored 
communion with God ; and the hope which runs 
through them all is of a divine-human inter-union 
through blood. " The one purpose which is given after 
every sacrifice in the first chapters of Leviticus," 3 says 
Stanley, 4 "is, that it ' shall make a sweet savour unto the 
Lord '." *" And Edersheim says, 5 of all the various sacri- 

1 The Old Test, in the Jewish Church, Notes on Lect. XII 
1 See pages II, 12, supra. 3 Lev. I: 13, 17 ; 2: 2, 12 ; 3 : 8, 16. 

4 Christian Institutions^ Chap. 4. 
6 The Temple, Its Mm. and Sew., p. 82. 


fices of the ritual : " These were, then, either sacrifices 
of communion with God, or else [were] intended to re- 
store that communion when it had been disturbed or 
dimmed through sin and trespass : sacrifices in com- 
munion, or [sacrifices] for communion, with God. To 
the former class belong the burnt and the peace-offer- 
ings ; to the latter, the sin and the trespass offerings." 1 

The sin-offering of that ritual was, in a sense, the 
basis of the whole system of sacrifices. The chief 
feature of that offering was the out-flowing of its 
blood Godward. The offering itself was a substitute- 
offering for an individual or for the entire people. Its 
blood was sprinkled upon the horns of the altar of burnt- 
offering, or poured out at the base of that altar, 2 the al- 
tar of personal consecration; or, it was sprinkled within 
the Holy Place toward the Most Holy Place, 3 the 
symbolic dwelling-place of Jehovah : and again it was 
made to touch the horns of the altar of incense, which 
sent up its sweet savor to God : in every case, "it was 
the outreaching of the sinner toward inter-union with 
God, in a covenant of blood. 

The whole burnt-offering of the Mosaic ritual 
symbolized the entire surrender to God, of the indi- 
vidual or of the congregation, in covenant faithfulness; 
the giving of one's self in unreserved trust to Him 

*The Temple, Its Min and Serv., p 82. 
2 Lev 4: 7, 18, 25, 30, 34. 3 Lev. 4. 6, 7, 17, 16: 14, 15. 


with whom the offerer desired to be in loving oneness. 
It was an indication of a readiness to enter fully into 
that inter-union which the blood-covenant brought 
about between two who had been separated, but who 
were henceforth to be as one. This offering also must 
be made with blood ; for it is blood which is the 
life that gives the possibility of inter-union. All the 
outpoured blood of this offering, however, went directly 
to the altar upon which the offering itself was laid ; * not 
toward the Most Holy Place, of the Lord's symbolic 
presence. This offering was not, indeed, understood 
as in itself compassing inter-union ; it indicated rather 
a desire and a readiness for inter-union anew or 
renewed: so both the substitute-body and the substitute- 
blood were offered at the altar of typical surrender and 
consecration. When other sacrifices were brought, the 
burnt-offering followed the sin-offering, but preceded 
the peace-offering ; 3 again, it might be offered by itself. 
He who was of the blood-covenant stock of Abraham 
thereby sought restoration to the full privileges of that 
covenant, to which he had not been wholly true ; and 
even he who was not of that stock might in this way 
show his desire to share in its privileges , " for the burnt 
offering was the only sacrifice which non-Israelites were 
permitted to bring" 3 to the altar of Jehovah. 

x Lev 1:5,11,15. 2 Lev. 8: 14-22; 9: 8-22; 14- 19, 20; 16: 3-25. 
3 Edersheim's The Temple, Its Mm. and Serv , p. 100. 


Following the communion-seeking, or the union- 
seeking, sin-offering (with its connected, or related, 
trespass-offering, or guilt-offering), and the self-sur- 
rendering burnt-offering, there came the joyous com- 
munion-symbolizing peace-offering, with its type of 
completed union, 1 in the sharing, by the sinner and his 
God, of the flesh of the sacrificial victim at a common 
feast. And this banquet-sacrifice 2 corresponds with the 
feast of inter-communion which commonly follows the 
primitive rite of blood-covenanting, and which marks 
the completion of the inter-union thereby sought after. 

All the other sacrifices of the Mosaic ritual follow 
in the line of these three classes. Even those which 
are in themselves offered without blood presuppose 
the individual's share in the blood-covenant, by the rite 
of circumcision and through the high priest's sin- 
offering for the entire congregation. "The Rabbis 
attach ten comparative degrees of sanctity to sacrifices ; 
and it is interesting to mark, that of these the first be- 
longed to the blood of the sin-offering ; the second to 
the burnt-offering ; the third to the sin-offering itself; 
and the fourth to the trespass-offering." 3 The blood 
which is to secure the covenant-union anew or re- 

1 " From its derivation it might also be rendered, the offering of com- 
pletion" (Edeisheim's The Temple, Its Mm , and Serv., p. 106). 

3 See page 149, supra, 
'Edersheim's The Temple, Its Mm. and Serv., p. 86. 


newed is of preeminent importance. Then comes the 
symbol of self-surrendering devotedness. First, the 
possibility of inter-union ; next, the expression of 
readiness and desire for it After this, the other sacri- 
fices range themselves according to their signification, 
until the culmination of the series is reached in the 
joyous inter-communion feast of the peace-offering. 

But, with all the suggestions of the rite of blood- 
covenanting in the sacrifices of the Mosaic ritual, there 
were limitations in the correspondences of that rite in 
those sacrifices, which mark the incompleteness of 
their symbolism and which point to better things to 
come. In the primitive blood-covenant rite itself, both 
parties receive, and partake of, the blood which be- 
comes common to the two. In all the outside religions 
of the world, where men reach out after a divine- 
human inter-union through substitute-blood, the offerer 
drinks of the sacrificial blood, or of something which 
stands for it; and so he is supposed to share the nature 
of the God with whom he thus covenants and inter- 
unites. In the Mosaic ritual, however, all drink-offer- 
ings of blood were forbidden to him who would enter 
into covenant with God ; he might not taste of the 
blood. He might, it is true, look forward, by faith, to 
an ultimate sharing of the divine nature ; and in antici- 
pation of that inter-union, he could enjoy a symbolic 
inter-communion with God, by partaking of the peace- 


offerings at the table of his Lord ; but as yet the sacri- 
ficial offering which could supply to his death-smitten 
nature the vivifying blood of an everlasting covenant 
was not disclosed to him. 1 

Even the substitute blood which he presented at the 
altar, as he came with his outreachmg after a blood- 
covenant union with the Lord, did not secure to him 
direct personal access to the symbolic earthly dwelling- 
place of the Lord. That blood could be poured out at 
the base of the altar of consecration, or it could be 
sprinkled upon its horns. That blood could, on occa- 
sions be sprinkled before the veil of the Most Holy 
Place, or could touch the horns of the altar of sweet 
incense. But that blood could never pass that veil 
which guarded the place of the Lord's symbolic 
presence, save once in a year when the high-priest, all 
by himself, and that not without a show of his own 
unfitness for the mission, went in thither, to sprinkle 
the substitute blood before the mercy-seat; "the Holy 
Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holy Place 
hath not yet been manifest 2 "; that the substitute 
"blood of bulls and of goats" 3 cannot be a means of 
man's inter-union with God. 

Lest, indeed, the Israelite should believe that a blood- 
covenant union was really secured with God, rather 
than typified, through these prescribed symbolic sacri- 
16: 4, 5. *Heb. 9: 8. Heb. 10: 4. 


fices and their sharing, he was repeatedly warned 
against that fatal error, and was taught that his true 
covenanting must be by a faith-filled recognition of the 
symbolism of these substitute agencies ; and by the im- 
plicit surrender of himself, in loving trust, to Him wno 
had ordained them as symbols. Thus in the Psalms : 

*' Hear, O my people, and I will speak ; 

Israel, and I will testify unto thee : 

1 am God, even thy God. 

I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices ; 

And thy burnt-offerings aie continually befoie me. . . . 

Will I eat the flesh of bulls, 

Or drink the blood of goats ? 

Offer unto God the sacrifice of thanksgiving ; 

And pay thy vows unto the Most High : 

And call upon me in the day of trouble ; 

I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. 

" But unto the wicked, God saith : 
What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, 
And that thou hast taken my covenant in thy mouth ? 
Seeing thou hatest instruction, 
And castest my words behind thee." l 

Again, in the prophecy of Isaiah : 

" To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me ? 
Saith the Lord : 
I am. full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed 


And I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or 
of he-goats. 

ipsa. 50: 7-17. 



"When ye come to appear before me, 

Who hath lequhed this at your hand, to tread my courts ? 

Bring no moie vain oblations ; 

Incense is an abomination unto me. . 

Wash you, make you clean ; 

Put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes ; 

Cease to do evil : 

Learn to do well ; 

Seek judgment, relieve the oppressed; 

Judge the fatheiless, plead foi the widow." l 

And with this very warning against a false reliance on 
the symbols themselves, the same prophet gives as- 
surance of better things in store for all those who are 
in true blood-covenant with God; even though they 
be not of the peculiar people of Abraham's natural 
descent. Foretelling the future, when the types of 
the sacrifice shall be realized, he says : 

"And in this mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto 

all peoples 
A feast of fat things, 
A feast of wine on the lees ; 
Of fat things full of marrow, 
Of wines on the lees well refined." 2 

The feast of inter-communion shall be sure, when the 
blood-covenant of inter-union is complete. 
Again, by Jeremiah : 

"Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel 
Add your burnt-offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat ye flesh. 

1 Isaiah I: 11-17. 


[But remember that that is not the completion of a 
covenant with me]. 

For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them, 
In the day that I biought them out of the land of Egypt, 
Concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. 

[As if burnt offerings and sacrifices were the all im- 
portant thing] ; 

But this thing I commanded them, saying, 

Hearken unto my voice, 

And I will be your God, 

And ye shall be my people; 

And walk ye in all the way that I command you, 

That it may be well with you," 1 

_Once more, by Hosea : 

" Ephraun, what shall I do unto thee? 
O Judah, what shall I do unto thee ? 
For your goodness is as a morning cloud, 
And as the dew that goeth early away . . . 
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice ; 
And the knowledge of God more than burnt-oflfenngs. 
But they like Adam have transgressed the covenant : 

[or, as the Revisers' " margin" would render it, 

"But they aie as men that have transgressed a covenant" :] 
There have they dealt treacheiously against me " z 

[Therein have they proved unfaithful to the require- 
ments of the blood-covenant on which they assumed 
to be resting, in their sacrifices]. 

1 Jer. 7 : 21-23. * Hosea 6 : 4-7. 


And so, all the way along through the prophets, in- 
repeated emphasis of the incompleteness of the blood- 
covenanting symbols in the ritual sacrifices. 

Concerning the very rite of circumcision, which was 
the token of Abraham's covenant of blood-friendship 
with the Lord, the Israelites were taught that its spir- 
itual value was not in the formal surrender of a bit of 
flesh, and a few drops of blood, in ceremonial devoted- 
ness to God, but in its symbolism of the implicit 
surrender of the whole life and being, in hearty cove- 
nant with God. "Behold, unto the Lord thy God 
belongeth the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, the 
earth with all that therein is. Only the Lord had a 
delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their 
seed after them, even you above all peoples as at this 
day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, 
and be no more stiff-necked/' x "And it shall come to 
pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the 
blessings and the curse which I have set before thee, and 
thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, 
whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, and shalt re- 
turn unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice 
according to all that I command thee this day, thou 
and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy 
soul ; that then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, 
and have compassion upon thee, and will return and 

1 Deut. 10 : 14-16. 


gather thee from all the peoples, whither the Lord thy 
God hath scattered thee. . . . And the Lord thy 
God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy 
seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, 
and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live." 1 And 
when this has come to pass, the true seed of Abra- 
ham, 2 circumcised in heart, 3 shall be in the covenant 
of blood-friendship with God. 

So, also, with the phylacteries as the record of the 
blood-covenant of the passover, they had a value only 
as they represented a heart-remembrance of that cove- 
nant, by their wearers. Says Solomon, in the guise 
of Wisdom. 

*' My son, foiget not my law ; 
But let thine heart keep my commandments. . . . 
Let not mercy and truth foisake thee : 
Bind them about thy neck ; 
Write them upon the table of thy heart ; 
So shalt thou find favor and good understanding 
In the sight of God and man." * 

** Keep my commandments and live ; 
And my law as the apple of thine eye. 
Bind them upon thy fingers ; 
Write them upon the table of thine heart." 5 

And the prophet Jeremiah foretells the recognition of 
this truth in the coming day of better things: 

1 Deut. 30 : 1-6. 2 Gal. 3 : 7-9 ; Rom. 4 : n, 12. 

3 Rom. 2; 26-29; pllil - 3 : 3- 4 Prov. 3 : 1-4. 5 Prov. 7 : 2, 3. 


" Behold the days come, saith the Lord, 
That I will make a new covenant 
With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 
Not according to the covenant that I made with then fathers. 
In the day that I took them by the hand, 
To bring them out of the land of Egypt 

[That covenant was the blood-covenant of the pass- 
over ; of which the phylacteries were a token.] 

Which my covenant they brake, 

Although I was an husband unto them [a loid over them] saith 

the Loid; 
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the hou&e of 


Aftei those days, saith the Lord ; 
I will put my law in their inward parts, 
And in their heait will I write it: 

[Instead of its being written as now, outside of them, 
on their hand and on their forehead.] 

And I will be their God, 

And they shall be my people. . . . 

For I will forgive their iniquity, 

And their sin will I remember no more." l 

*' The blood-covenant symbols of the Mosaic law all 
pointed to the possibility of a union of man's spiritual 
nature with God ; but they did not in themselves either 
assure or indicate that union as already accomplished; 
nor did they point the way to it, as yet made clear. 
They were only " a shadow of the things to come." 2 

J Jer. 31: 31-34. 2 Col. 2: 17. 


Another gleam of the primitive truth, that blood is 
life and not death, and that the transference of blood 
is the transference of life, is found in the various Mosaic 
references to the goel (SiO), the person who is autho- 
rized to obtain blood for blood as an act of justice, in 
the East And another proof of the prevailing error 
in the Western mind, through confounding blood with 
death, and justice with punishment, is the common 
rendering of the term goel, as "avenger," 1 or "re- 
venger," 2 in our English Bible, wherever that term 
applies to the balancing of a blood account ; although 
the same Hebrew word is in other connections com- 
monly translated " redeemer," 3 or " ransomer." 4 

Lexicographers are confused over the original im- 
port of the word goel;* all the more, because of this 
confusion in their minds over the import of blood in 
its relation to death and to justice. But it is agreed 
on all hands, that, as a term, the word was, in the East, 
applied to that kinsman whose duty it was to secure 

1 Num. 35 : 12; Deut. 19 : 6, 12; Josh. 20: 3, 5, 9. 

2 Num. 35: 19, 21, 24, 25, 27; 2 Sam. 14: II. 
3 Job 19: 25; Psa. 19: 14; 78: 35; Prov. 23 : II; Isa. 41 : 14; 
43: 14; 44: 6,24; 47: 4; 43: 17; 49 : 7,26; 54: 5,8; 59: 20; 
60: 16; 63: 16; Jer. 50: 34. 

*Comp. Isa. 51 : II ; Jer. 31 : n. 

5 "A term of which the original import is uncertain. The very 
c&scurity of its etymology testifies to the antiquity of the office which it 
denotes." (Speaker's Com at Num. 35 : 12.) 


justice to the injured, and to restore, as it were, a nor- 
mal balance to the disturbed family relations. Oehler 
well defines the goel as " that particular relative whose 
special duty it was to restore the violated family integ- 
rity, who had to redeem not only landed property that 
had been alienated from the family (Lev. 25 : 25 ff.), or a 
member of the family that [who] had fallen into slavery 
(Lev. 25 : 47 ff.), but also the blood that had been taken 
away from the family by murder." 1 Hence, in the event 
of a depletion of the family by the loss of blood the loss 
of a life the goel had a responsibility of securing to the 
family an equivalent of that loss, by other blood, or by 
an agreed payment for its value. His mission was not 
vengeance, but equity. He was not an avenger, but a 
redeemer, a restorer, a balancer. And in that light, and 
in that light alone, are all the Oriental customs in con- 
nection with blood-cancelling seen to be consistent. 

All through the East, there are regularly fixed tariffs 
for blood-cancelling ; as if in recognition of the rela- 
tive loss to a family, of one or another of its support- 
ing members. 3 This idea, of the differences in ran- 

1 Cited from Herzog's B. Cycl., in Keil and Delitzsch's Bib. Com. on 
the Pent., at Num. 35 : 9-34. 

2 See Niebuhr's Beschreibung von Arabian^ p 32 f ; Buickhardf s 
Bedumm nnd Wahaby, pp. 119-127, Lane's Thousand and One 
Ntghts, I., 431, note; Pierotti's Customs and Traditions of Palestine, 
pp. 220-227; Mrs. Finn's "The Fellaheen of Palestine," in Surv of 
West Pal., " Special Papers," PP- 342-346. 


soming-value between different members of the family, 
is recognized, in the Mosaic standards of ritual-ran- 
som; 1 although the accepting of a ransom for the 
blood of a blood-spiller was specifically forbidden in 
the Mosaic law. 52 This prohibition, in itself, however, 
seems to be a limitation of the privileges of the goel, 
as before understood in the East. The Quran, on the 
other hand, formally authorizes the settlement of man- 
slaughter damages by proper payments. 3 

Throughout Arabia, and Syria, and in various parts 
of Africa, 4 the first question to be considered in any 
case of unlawful blood-shedding is, whether the lost 
life shall be restored or balanced by blood, or by 
some equivalent of blood. Von Wrede says of the 
custom of the Arabs, in concluding a peace, after tribal 
hostilities : " If one party has more slain than the other, 
the shaykh on whose side the advantage lies, says [to 
the other shaykh] : ' Choose between blood and milk * 
[between life, and the means of sustaining life] ; which 
is as much as to say, that he may [either] avenge the 
fallen [take life for life]; or accept blood-money." 5 
Mrs. Finn says, similarly, of the close of a combat in 

1 Comp Exod. 21 : 18-27 ; 22 : 14-17 ; Lev. 27 : 1-8. 
2 Num. 35 : 30-34 8 Sooras, 2 and 17. 

* Livingstone and Stanley on seveial occasions made payments, or had 
them made, to avoid a conflict on a question of blood. See, e g Trav. and 
Res. in So. Africa, pp. 390, 368-370, 482 f., The Congo, L, 520-527. 
5 Reise in Hadkramaut, p 199. 


Palestine : "A computation is generally made of the 
losses on either side by death, wounds, etc., and the 
balance is paid to the victors." 1 Burton describes simi- 
larly the custom in Arabia, 2 

It is the same in individual cases as in tribal con- 
flicts. An accepted payment for blood fully restores 
the balance between the aggrieved parties and the 
slayer. As Pierotti says : " This charm will teach the 
Arab to grasp readily the hands of the slayer of his 
father or his son, saying, ' Such an one has killed my 
father, but he has paid me the price of his blood/ " 3 
This in itself shows that it is not revenge, but restitu- 
tion, that is sought after by the goel ; that he is not 
the blood-avenger, but the blood-balancer. 

It is true that, still, in some instances, all money pay- 
ment for blood is refused ; but the avowed motive in 
such a case is the holding of life as above price the 
very idea which the Mosaic law emphasized. Thus 
Burton tells of the excited Bed 7 ween mother who dashes 
the proffered blood-money to the ground, swearing 
" by Allah, that she will not eat her son's blood." 4 And 
even where the blood of the slayer is insisted on, there 
are often found indications that the purpose of this 
choice rests on the primitive belief that the lost life is 
1 Suru. of West. Pal., " Special Papers," p. 342. 

2 A Pilgrimage to Mec and JMed , 357. 
3 Oust, and Trad, of Pal., p 221 M Pilgrimage, p. 367. 


made good to the depleted family by the newly re- 
ceived blood. 1 Thus, in the region of Abyssinia, the 
blood of the slayer is drunk by the relatives of the one 
first slain; 2 and, in Palestine, when the goel has shed 
the blood of an unlawful slayer, those who were the 
losers of blood by that slayer dip their handkerchiefs 
in his blood, and so obtain their portion of his life. 3 

In short, apart from the specific guards thrown 
around the mission of the goel, in the interests of jus- 
tice, by the requirements of the Mosaic law, it is evi- 
dent that the primal idea of the goel's mission was to 
restore life for life, or to secure the adjusted equivalent 
of a lost life ; not to wreak vengeance, nor yet to mete 
out punishment. The calling of the goel, in our Eng- 
lish Bible, a " revenger " of blood, is a result of the 
wide-spread and deep-rooted error concerning the 
primitive and Oriental idea of blood and its value; 
and that unfortunate translation tends to the perpetua- 
tion of this error. 


Because the primitive rite of blood-covenanting was 
well known in the Lands of the Bible, at the time of 
the writing of the Bible, for that very reason we are 
not to look to the Bible for a specific explanation of 

1 See pages 126-133, supra. 2 See page 132 f , supra. 

8 Pierotti's Cust. and Trad, of Pal. p. 216. 


the rite itself, even where there are incidental references 
in the Bible to the rite and its observances ; but, on 
the other hand, we are to find an explanation of the 
biblical illustrations of the primitive rite, in the under- 
standing of that rite which we gain from outside 
sources. In this way, we are enabled to see in the 
Bible much that otherwise would be lost sight of. 

The word for "covenant," in the Hebrew, bereeth 
( rp "), is commonly so employed, in the sacred text, 
as to have the apparent meaning of a thing " cut," as 
apart from, or as in addition to, its primary meaning 
of a thing "eaten." 1 This fact has been a source of 
confusion to lexicographers. 2 But when we consider 
that the primitive rite of blood-covenanting was by 
cutting into the flesh in order to the tasting of the 
blood, and that a feast was always an accompaniment 
of the rite, if, indeed, it were not an integral portion 
of it, the two-fold meaning of " cutting" and " eating" 
attaches obviously to the term " covenant " ; as the 
terms " carving," and " giving to eat," are often used 
interchangeably, with reference to dining; or as we 
speak of a " cut of beef" as the portion for a table. 

The earliest Bible reference to a specific covenant 
between individuals, is in the mention, at Genesis 
14: 13, of Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner, the Amorites, 

1 Comp. Gen. 15 : 18; Jer. 34: 18 ; 2 Sam. 12 : 17. 
2 See Gesenius, Fueist, Cocceius, s. v. 


who were in covenant with literally, were " masters 
of the covenant of" "Abram the Hebrew." After 
this, comes the record of a covenant between Abraham 
and Abimelech, at the wells of Beer-sheba. Abime- 
lech sought that covenant ; he sought it because of his 
faith in Abraham's God. "God is with thee in all that 
thou doest," he said : " Now, therefore, swear unto me 
here by God, that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, 
nor with my son, nor with my son's son : but accord- 
ing to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou 
shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast 
sojourned. And Abraham said, I will swear." 1 Then 
came the giving of gifts by Abraham, according to the 
practice which seems universal in connection with this 
rite, in our own day. 2 "And Abraham took sheep 
and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech." And they 
two " made a covenant," or, as the Hebrew is, " they 
two cut a covenant" This covenant, thus cut between 
Abraham and Abimelech patriarchs and sovereigns as 
they were was for themselves and for their posterity. 
As to the manner of its making, we have a right to 
infer, from all that we know of the manner of such 
covenant-making among the people of their part of the 
world, in the earliest days of recorded history. 

Herodotus, who goes back well-nigh two-thirds of 
the way to Abraham, says, that when the Arabians 

1 Gen. 21 : 22-24. 2 See pages 14, 1 6, 20, 22, 25, 27, etc., supra. 



would covenant together, a third man, standing be- 
tween the two, cuts, with a sharp stone, the inside of 
the hands of both, and lets the blood therefrom drop 
on seven stones which are between the two parties. 1 
Phicol, the captain of Abimelech's host, was present, 
as a third man, when the covenant was cut between 
Abimelech and Abraham ; at Beer-sheba the Well 
of the Seven, or the Well of the Oath. 2 Instead of 
seven stones as a "heap of witness" 3 between the two 
in this covenanting, " seven ewe lambs " were set apart 
by Abraham, that they might " be a witness " 4 a sym- 
bolic witness to this transaction. 

In the primitive rite of blood-covenanting, as it is 
practised in some parts of the East, to the present 
time, in addition to other symbolic witnesses of the 
rite, a tree is planted by the covenanting parties, " which 
remains and grows as a witness of their contract." 5 So 
it was, in the days of Abraham. "And Abraham 
planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and called 
there on the name of the Everlasting God. And 
Abraham sojourned [was a sojourner] in the land of 
the Philistines many days" 6 while that tree, doubt- 
less, remained and grew as a witness of his blood- 
covenant compact with Abimelech the ruler of the 

1 See page 47, supra. * Gen. 21 : 31. 

8 Comp. Gen. 31 : 44-47- * Gen. 21 : 30. 

5 See page 53, supra. ' Gen. 21 ; 33. 


Philistines. 1 Abimelech was, as it were, the first-fruits 
of the " nations " 2 who were to have a blessing through 
the covenanted friend of God. 

It is a noteworthy fact, that when Herodotus de- 
scribes the Scythians' mode of drinking each other's 
mingled blood, in their covenanting, he tells of their 
" cutting covenant" by " striking the body " of the cove- 
nanting party. In this case, he employs the words 
tamnomenon (ra^o^w^ " cutting," and tupsantes (rt>- 
^avrs?) " striking," which are the correspondents, on 
the one hand of the Hebrew karath (m_:>) " to cut/* 
and on the other hand of the Latin ferire, "to strike f 
as applied to covenant making. 3 And this would 
seem to make a tri-lingual " Rosetta Stone " of this 
statement by Herodotus, as showing that the Hebrew 
" cutting " of the covenant, and the Latin " striking " 
of the covenant, is the Greek, the Arabian, the 
Scythian, and the universal primitive, method of cove- 
nanting, by cutting into, or by striking, the flesh of a 
person covenanting; in order that another may become 
a possessor of his blood, and a partaker of his life. 

Yet later, at the same Well of the Seven, another 
Abimelech came down from Gerar, with " Ahuzzath 
his friend, and Phicol the captain of his host," and, 

1 See references to the blood-stained covenant-tree, in Appendix, 

* Gen. 22 : 18. s See page 61 f., supra. 


prompted by faith, sought a renewal of the covenant 
with the house of Abraham. 1 It is not specifically 
declared that Abimelech and Isaac cut a covenant to- 
gether ; but it is said that " they did eat and drink" in 
token of their covenant relations, and that they "sware 
one to another." 2 Apparently they either cut a new 
covenant, or they confirmed one which their fathers 
had cut 3 

When Jacob and Laban covenanted together, in "the 
mountain [the hill-country] of Gilead," before their 
final separation, they had their stone-heap of witness 
between them ; such as Herodotus says the Arabs 
were accustomed to anoint with their own blood, in 
their covenanting by blood, in his day; 3 for Jacob, per- 
haps, had more tolerance than Abraham, for perverted 
religious symbols. 4 "And now let us cut a covenant, I 
and thou," said Laban ; " and let it be for a witness 
between me and thee. And Jacob took a stone, and 
set it up for a pillar [a pillar instead of a tree]. And 
Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones ; and they 
took stones, and made an heap : and they did eat there 
on the heap [the Revisers have translated this, by the 
heap"]. 5 And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha: but 

1 Gen. 26 : 25-29. * Gen. 26 30, 31. 8 See page 62, supra. 

4 Comp. Gen. 12 : 6-8; 28: 18-22; 31: 19-36. 
5 Mr. Forbes tells of a custom, in Sumatra, of taking a binding oath 
above the grave of the original patiiarch of the Passumah. An animal 


Jacob called it Gilead And Laban said, This heap is 
witness between me and thee this day. . . . God 
is witness betwixt me and thee. . . . The God of 
Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their 
father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the 
Fear of his father Isaac. And Jacob offered a sacrifice 
in the mountain, and called his brethren to eat bread : 
and they did eat bread." 1 Here, again, the cutting of 
the covenant and the sharing of a feast in connection 
with the rite the " cutting" and the " eating" are in 
accordance with all that we know of the primitive rite 
of blood-covenanting in the East, in earlier and in 
later times. 

Yet more explicit is the description of the blood- 
covenanting which brought into loving unity David 
and Jonathan. It was when the faith-filled heroism 
of the stripling shepherd-boy was thrilling all Israel 
with grateful admiration that David was brought into 
the royal presence of Saul, and of Saul's more than 
royal hero-son, Jonathan, to receive the thanks of the 

is sacrificed, cut into small pieces, and cooked in a pot. " Then he who 
is to take the oath, holding his hand, or a long kriss of the finest sort, 
over the grave-stone, and over the cooked animal, says : ' If such and 
such be not the case, may I be afflicted with the worst evils.' The 
whole of the company then partake of the food " (A Naturaltsfs Wan- 
derings, p. 198 f.). This seems to be a vestige of the primitive custom 
of eating on the witness-heap of an oath. 

i Gen. 31 : 44~54- 


king for the rescue of the tarnished honor of the 
Israelitish host. Modestly, David gave answer to the 
question of the king. "And it came to pass, when he 
had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul 
of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and 
Jonathan loved him as his own soul." " Then Jona- 
than and David cut a covenant, because he [Jonathan] 
loved him [David] as his own soul [as his own life, his 
own blood]." 1 Then followed that gift of raiment and 
of arms which was a frequent accompaniment of blood- 
covenanting. 2 "And Jonathan stripped himself of the 
robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his 
apparel, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his 
girdle." 3 From that hour the hearts of David and 
Jonathan were as one. Jonathan could turn away from 
father and mother, and could repress all personal ambi- 
tion, and all purely selfish longings, in proof of his 
loving fidelity to him who was dear to him as his own 
blood. 4 His love for David was " wonderful, passing 
the love of women." 5 

Nor was this loving compact between Jonathan and 
David for themselves alone. It was for their posterity 
as well. 6 "The Lord be with thee, as he hath been 
with my father," said Jonathan. " And thou shalt 

1 1 Sam. 1 8 : 1-3. 2 See pages 14, 24, 28, 35 f , 62, supra. 

3 I Sam. 18: 4; 20: 1-13. *i Sam. 19: 1-7. 

& 2 Sam. 1 : 26. See pages 10, 53, sttpra. 


not only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the 
Lord, that I die not : but also thou shalt not cut off 
thy kindness from my house for ever : no, not [even] 
when the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David every- 
one from the face of the earth. So Jonathan cut a 
covenant with the house of David, saying [as in the 
imprecations of a blood-covenant], And the Lord shall 
require it [fidelity to this covenant] at the hand of 
David's enemies. And Jonathan caused David to 
swear again, for the love he had to him : for he loved 
him as he loved his own soul [his own life, his own 
blood]." 1 And years afterward, when the Lord had 
given David rest from all his enemies around about him, 
the memory of that blood-covenant pledge came back 
to him ; " and David said, Is there yet any that is left 
of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness 
for Jonathan's sake?" 2 The seating of lame Mephi- 
bosheth at David's royal table 3 was an illustration of 
the unfailing obligation of the primitive covenant of 
blood which had bound together David and Jona- 
than, for themselves and for theirs forever. 


And now from David to David's greater Son ; from 
type to anti-type ; from symbol and prophecy to re- 
ality and fruition. 

*i Sam. 20: 13-17. 2 2 Sam. 7: I ; 9: I. 3 2 Sam. 9: 2-13. 


Death had passed upon all men. Yet in the hearts 
of the death-smitten there was still a longing for life. 
Sin-leprous souls yearned for that in-flow of new be- 
ing which could come only through inter-union with 
the divine nature, in oneness of life with the Author 
and Source of all life. Revelation and prophecy had 
assured the possibility and the hope of such inter- 
union. Rite and ceremony and symbol, the wide 
world over, signified man's desire, and man's expecta- 
tion, of covenanted access to God, through personal 
surrender, and through life-giving, life-representing 

But where men yielded up unauthorized offerings, 
even of their own blood, or of the very lives of their 
first-born, they confessed themselves unsatisfied with 
their attitude God- ward; and, where men followed a 
divinely prescribed ritual, they were taught by that 
very ritual itself that the outpoured blood and the par- 
taken flesh of the sacrifices were, at the best, but mere 
shadows of good things to come. 1 The whole crea- 
tion was groaning and travailing in pain together, until 
the birth of the world's promised redemption 2 

The symbolic covenant of blood-friendship was be- 
tween God and Abraham's seed ; and in that seed were 
all the nations of the earth to have a blessing. God 
had called on Abraham to surrender to him his only 

1 Heb. 10 : 1-4. Rom. 8 : 22. 


son, in proof of his unfailing love ; and, when Abraham 
had stood that test of his faith, God had spared to him 
the proffered offering. It now remained for God to 
transcend Abraham's proof of friendship, and to spare 
not his own and only Son, 1 but to make him a sacri- 
ficial offering, by means of which the covenant of 
blood-friendship, between God and the true seed of 
Abraham, might become a reality instead of a symbol. 
Abraham had given to God of his own blood, by the 
rite of circumcision, in token of his desire for inter- 
union with God. God was now to give of his blood, 
in the blood of his Son, for the re-vivifying of the sons 
of Abraham in " the blood of the eternal covenant" 2 
Then, in the fullness of time, there came down into 
this world He who from the beginning was one with 
God, and who now became one with man. Becoming 
a sharer of the nature of those who were subject to 
death, and who longed for life, Jesus Christ was here 
among men as the fulfillment of type and prophecy ; 
to meet and to satisfy the holiest and the uttermost 
yearnings of the human soul after eternal life, in com- 
munion and union with God. " And the Word became 
flesh, and dwelt among us, ... full of grace and 
truth." " In him was life [life that death could not 
destroy; life that could destroy death], and the life 
[which was in him] was the light [the guide and the 
1 Rom. 8 : 32. 2 Heb. 13 : 20. 


hope] of men." " He came unto his own, and they 
that were [called] his own received him not But as 
many as received him [whether, before, they had been 
called his own, or not] to them gave he the right to 
become children of God [by becoming partakers of his 
life], even to them that believe on his name : which 
were [through faith] begotten, not of bloods [not by 
ordinary generation], nor of the will of the flesh, nor 
of the will of man, but of God." 1 Having in his own 
blood the life of God and the life of man, Jesus Christ 
could make men sharers of the divine nature by 
making them sharers of his own nature ; and this was 
the truth of truths which he declared to those whom 
he instructed. 

In the primitive rite of blood-covenanting, men 
drank of each other's blood, in order that they might 
have a common life; and they ate together of a 
mutually prepared feast, in order that they might 
evidence and nourish that common life. In the out- 
reaching of men Godward, for the privileges of a 
divine-human inter-union, they poured out the sub- 
stitute blood of a chosen victim in sacrifice, and they 
partook of the flesh of that sacrificial victim, in sym- 
bolism of sharing the life and the nourishment of 
Deity. This symbolism was made a reality in Jesus 
Christ He was the Seed of Abraham ; the fulfillment 

1 Comp. John 1 : 1-14 ; Heb. 1 : 1-3 ; 2 : 14-16. 


of the promise, " In Isaac shall thy Seed be called." * 
He was the true Paschal Lamb ; the " Lamb without 
blemish and without spot'*; 2 "the Lamb that hath 
been slain from the foundation of the world." 3 The 
blood which he yielded, was Life itself. The body 
which he laid on the altar was the Peace Offering of 
Completion. 4 

" Wherefore, when he cometh into the world, he saith : 

Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, 

But a body didst thou prepare for me ; 

In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hadst no pleasure : 

Then said I, Lo, I am come 

(In the roll of the book it is written of me) 

To do thy will, O God. 

Saying above, [He here says.] Sacrifices and offerings 
and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou 
wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein [as if in 
* themselves sufficient] (the which are offered according 
to the Law) ; then [also] hath he said, Lo I am come to 
do thy will. He taketh away the first [the symbolic], 
that he may establish the second [the real]." 5 

He was here, in the body of his blood and flesh, for 
the yielding of his blood and the sharing of his flesh, 
in order to make partakers of his nature whosoever 
would seek a divine-human inter-union and a divine- 

1 Gen. 21 : 12; Heb II : 18. 2 I Pet. 1 . 19. 

3 Rev. 13:8. * See page 250, supra, note. 5 Heb 10 : 5-9. 


human inter-communion, through the sacrifice made 
by him, " once for all." 

"Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I 
say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of 
man and drink his blood, ye have not life in your- 
selves. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my 
blood hath eternal life ; and I will raise him up at the 
last day. For my flesh is meat indeed [is true meat], 
and my blood [my life] is drink indeed [is true drink]. 
He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood 
abideth in me, and I in him [Herein is communion 
through union]. As the living Father sent me, and I 
live because of the Father ; so he that eateth me, he 
also shall live because of me. This is the bread 
which came down out of heaven : not as the fathers 
did eat, and died : he that eateth this bread shall live 
forever." 1 

"These things said he in the synagogue, as he 
taught in Capernaum " toward the close of the second 
year of his public ministry. The fact that he did 
speak thus, so long before he had instituted the 
Memorial Supper, has been a puzzle to many com- 
mentators who were unfamiliar with the primitive rite 
of blood-covenanting, and with the world-wide series 
of substitute sacrifices and substitute forms of com- 
munion which had grown out of the suggestions, and 

*John 6: 53-58. 


out of the perversions, of the root symbolisms of that 
rite. But, in the light of all these customs, the words 
of Jesus have a clearer meaning. It was as though 
he had said : " Men everywhere long for life. They 
seek a share in the life of God. They give of their 
own blood, or of substitute blood, and they taste of 
substitute blood, or they receive its touch, in evidence 
of their desire for oneness of nature with God. They 
crave communion with God, and they eat of the flesh 
of their sacrifices accordingly. All that they thus 
reach out after, I supply. In me is life. If they will 
become partakers of my life, of my nature, they shall 
be sharers of the life of God." Then he added, in 
assurance of the fact that it was a profound spiritual 
truth which he was enunciating : " It is the spirit that 
quickeneth ; the flesh profiteth nothing : the words 
that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life." * 
The divine-human inter-union and the divine-human 
inter-communion are spiritual, and they are spiritually 
wrought ; or they are nothing. 

The words of Jesus on this subject were not under- 
stood by those who heard him. " The Jews therefore 
strove one with another, saying, How can this man 
give us his flesh to eat ? " 2 But this was not because 
the Jews had never heard of eating the flesh of a sacrifi- 
cial victim, and of drinking blood in a sacred covenant: 

1 John 6 : 63. 2 John 6 : 60. 



it was, rather, because they did not realize that Jesus 
was to be the crowning sacrifice for the human race ; 
nor did they comprehend his right and power to make 
those who were one with him through faith thereby 
one with God in spiritual nature. " Many," even " of 
his disciples, when they heard" these words of his, 
" said, This is a hard saying ; who can hear it ? " 1 
Nor are questioners at this point lacking among his 
disciples to-day. 

Before Jesus Christ was formally made an offering 
in sacrifice, as a means of man's inter-union and inter- 
communion with God, there were two illustrations of 
his mission, in the giving of his blood for the bring- 
ing of man into right relations with God. These were, 
his circumcision, and his agony in Gethsemane. 

By his circumcision, Jesus brought his humanity 
into the blood-covenant which was between God and 
the seed of God's friend, Abraham, of whose nature, 
according to the flesh, Jesus had become a partaker ; 2 
Jesus thereby pledged his own blood in fidelity to that 
covenant ; so that all who should thereafter become 
his by their faith, might, through him, be heirs of faith- 
ful Abraham. 3 The sweet singer of the Christian 
Year 4 seems to find this thought in this incident in 
the life of the Holy Child : 

1 John 6: 60. Hel>. I: 14-16. 

8 Gal. 3 : 6-9, 16, 29. * Keble. 


"Like sacrificial wine 

Poured on a victim's head, 
Are those few piecious drops of thine, 

Now fiist to offering led. 
" They are the pledge and seal 

Of Christ's unswerving faith, 
Given to his She, our souls to heal, 

Although it cost his death. 
" They, to his Church of old, 

To each true Jewish heart, 
In gospel giaces manifold, 
Communion blest impart." 

In Gethsemane, the sins and the needs of humanity 
&o pressed upon the burdened soul of Jesus that his 
very life was forced out, as it were, from his aching, 
breaking heart, in his boundless sympathy with his 
loved ones, and in his infinite longings for their union 
with God, through their union with himself, in the 
covenant of blood he was consummating in their be- 
half. 1 "And being in an agony, he prayed more earn- 

1 " In the garden of Gethsemane, Christ endured mental agony so in- 
tense that, had it not been limited by divine interposition, it would 
probably have destroyed his life without the aid of any other sufferings ; 
but having been thus mitigated, its effects were confined to violent 
palpitation of the heart accompanied with bloody sweat . . . Dr. 
Millingen's explanation of bloody sweat ... is judicious. * It is 
probable,' says he, 'that this staange disorder arises from a violent com- 
motion of the nervous system, turning the streams of blood out of their 
natural course, and forcing the red particles into the cutaneous excreto- 
ries.' " (Stroud's Physical Cause of the Death of Christ, pp. 74, 380). 


estly: and his sweat became as it were great drops of 
blood falling down to the ground." 1 

Because of his God-ward purpose of bringing men 
into a loving covenant with God, Jesus gave of his 
blood in the covenant-rite of circumcision. Because 
of his man-ward sympathy with the needs and the 
trials of those whom he had come to save, and because 
of the crushing burden of their death-bringing sins, 
Jesus gave of his blood in an agony of intercessoiy suf- 
fering. Therefore it is that the Litany cry of the ages 
goes up to him in fulness of meaning : " By the mys- 
tery of thy holy incarnation ; by thy holy nativity and 
circumcision ; ... by thine agony and bloody sweat, 
, . . Good Lord, deliver us." 

In process of time, the hour drew nigh that the true 
covenant of blood between God and man should be 
consummated finally, in its perfectness. The period 
chosen was the passover-feast the feast observed by 
the Jews in commemoration of that blood-covenanting 
occasion in Egypt when God evidenced anew his 
fidelity to his promises to the seed of Abraham, his 
blood-covenanted friend. "Now before the feast of 
the passover, Jesus knowing that his hour was come 
that he should depart out of this world to the Father, 
having loved his own which were in the world, he 
loved them unto the end." 2 "And when the hour 

1 Luke 22 : 44. 2 John 13 : I. 


was come, he sat down, and the apostles with him, 
And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to 
eat this passover with you before I suffer." l Whether 
he actually partook of the passover meal at that time 
or not is a point still in dispute ; 2 but as to that which 
follows there is no question. 

"As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, 
and brake it ; and he gave to the disciples, and said, 
Take, eat; this is my body." 3 "This do in remem- 
brance of me. And the cup in like manner after 
supper ; " 4 " and when he had given thanks, he gave 
[it] to them," 6 " saying, Drink ye all of it ; for this is 
my blood of the covenant," 6 or, as another Evangelist 
records, " this cup is the new covenant in my blood," 7 
" which is shed for many unto remission of sins " 8 
[unto the putting away of sins]. " This do, as oft as 
ye drink it, in remembrance of me." 9 "And they all 
drank of it" 10 

Here was the covenant of blood ; here was the 
communion feast, in partaking of the flesh of the 
fitting and accepted sacrifice ; toward which all rite 
and symbol, and all heart yearning and inspired 

x Luke 22: 14, 15. 

2 As to the points in this dispute, see Andrews's Life of our Lord, 
pp. 425-460, and Farrar's Lzfe of Chiist, Excursus X., Appendix. 

3 Malt. 26: 26. *Luke 22: 19, 20. 6 Mark 14: 23. 
6 Matt 26 . 27, 28. * Luke 22 : 20. 8 Matt. 26 : 28. 

9 1 Cor. II : 25 10 Mark 14: 23. 



prophecy, had pointed, in all the ages. Here was the 
realization of promise and hope and longing, in man's 
possibility of inter-union with God through a common 
life which is oneness of blood ; and in man's inter- 
communion with God, through participation in the 
blessings of a common table. He who could speak 
for God here proffered of his own blood, to make 
those whom he loved of the same nature with himself, 
and so of the same nature with his God; to bring them 
into blood-friendship with their God ; and he proffered 
of his own body, to supply them with soul nourish- 
ment, in that Bread which came down from God. 

Then it was, while they were there together in that 
upper room, for the consummating of that blood- 
covenant of friendship, that Jesus said to his disciples : 
" Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay 
down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye 
do the things which I command you. No longer do I 
call you servants ; for the servant knoweth not what 
his lord doeth : but I have called you friends [friends 
in the covenant of blood-friendship now] ; for all 
things that I heard from my Father, I have made 
known unto you." 1 A common life, through oneness 
of blood, secures an absolute unreserve of intimacy ; 
so that neither friend has aught to conceal from his 
other self. "Abide in me, and I in you; ... for 

15: 13-15. 


apart from me ye can do nothing," was the injunction 
of Jesus to his blood-covenant friends, at this hour of 
his covenant pledging. " If ye abide in me, and my 
words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it 
shall be done unto you." 1 

Then it was, also, that the prayer of Jesus for his 
new blood-covenant friends went up: "Father, the 
hour is come; glorify thy Son, that the Son may 
glorify thee : even as thou gavest him authority over 
all flesh, that whatsoever [whomsoever] thou hast 
given him, to them he should give eternal life [in an 
eternal covenant of blood]. And this is life eternal, 
that they should know thee the only true God, and 
him whom thou didst send [as the means of life], even 
Jesus Christ . . . Holy Father, keep them in thy 
name which thou hast given me, that they may be one, 
even as we are. . . . Neither for these [here pres- 
ent] only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me 
through their word ; that they may all be one ; even 
as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they 
also may be in us : that the world may believe that 
thou didst send me. And the glory which thou hast 
given me I have given unto them ; that they may be 
one, even as we are one ; I in them, and thou in me, 
that they may be perfected into one ; that the world 
may know that thou didst send me, and lovedst them, 
1 Jolm 15 : 4-7. 


even as thou lovedst me. 1 ' 1 Here was declared the 
scope of this blood-covenant, and here was unfolded 
its doctrine. 

It was not an utterly new symbolism that Jesus was 
introducing into the religious thought of the world: it 
was rather a new meaning that he was introducing 
into, or that he was disclosing in, an already widely 
recognized symbolism. The world was familiar with 
the shadow of truth ; Jesus now made clear to the 
world the truth's substance. Man's longing to be a 
partaker of the divine nature had manifested itself 
through all the ages and everywhere. Jesus now 
showed how that longing of death-smitten man could 
be realized. "The appearing of our Saviour Jesus 
Christ . . . abolished death, and brought life and 
immortality to light through the gospel " 2 of his blood- 

But a covenant of blood, a covenant to give one's 
blood, one's life, for the saving of another, cannot be 
consummated without the death of the covenanter. 
" For where [such] a covenant is, there must of neces- 
sity be [be brought] the death of him that made it. 
For [such] a covenant is of force [becomes a reality] 
where there hath been death [or, over the dead] : for 
doth it [such a covenant] ever avail [can it be effi- 
cient] while he that made it liveth ? " 8 Jesus had said, 
1 John 17 ; 1-24. a 2Tim. I : 10. 3 Heb. 9 : 16, 17, 


" Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay 
down his life for his friends.' 11 Of his readiness to 
show this measure of love for those who were as the 
sheep of his fold, he had declared : " I came that they 
may have life, and may have it abundantly. . . . 
I lay down my life for the sheep. . . . Therefore 
doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, 
that I may take it again. No one taketh it away from 
me, but I lay it down of myself." 2 And again: "I 
am the living bread which came down out of heaven : 
if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever : 
yea, and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for 
the life of the world." 3 " For my flesh is meat indeed, 
and my blood is drink indeed." 4 Such a covenant as 
this could be of force only through the death of him 
who pledges it. 

The promise of the covenanting-cup, at the cove- 
nanting-feast, was made good on Calvary. 6 The pierced 
hands and feet of the Divine Friend yielded their life- 
giving streams. Then, with the final cry, " It is finished," 
the very heart of the self-surrendered sacrificial victim 
was broken, 6 and the life of the Son of God and of the 

1 John 15 : 13. 2 John 10 : lo, 18. 3 John 6: 51. * John 6: 55. 

6 See Matt. 27: 33-54; Mark 15: 22-39; Luke 2 3 : 33~47 J J oh B 
19- 17-37- 

6 " He was ultimately * slain,' not by the effects of the anguish of his 
coiporeal frame, but by the effects of the mightier anguish of his mind ; 


Seed of Abraham was poured out unto death, 1 in order 
that all who would, might become sharers in its re-vivi- 
fying and saving power. He who was without sin had 
received the wages of sin ; because, that, only through 
dying was it possible for him to supply that life which 
would redeem from the penalty of sin those who had 
earned death, as sin's wages. 2 He who, in himself, had 
life, had laid down his life, so that those who were with- 
out life might become its partakers, through faith, in the 
bonds and blessings of an everlasting covenant. So 
the long symbolized covenant of blood was made a 
reality. "And the witness is this, that God gave unto 
us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath 
the Son hath the life; he that hath not the Son of God 
hath not the life." 3 


Under the symbolic sacrifices of the Old Covenant, 
it was the blood which made atonement for the soul. 
It was not the death of the victim, nor yet its broken 
body, but it was the blood, the life, the soul, that was 

the fleshy walls of his heart like the veil, as it were, in the temple of 

his human body becoming rent and riven, as, for us, * he poured out 

his soul unto death.' " (Sir James Y. Simpson, cited in Appendix to 

Stroud's Physical Cause of Death of Chnst.} 

1 Isa, 53 : 12. 3 Comp. Rom. 6 : 23 ; I Pet. 3 : 18 ; Isa. 53 : 4-6. 

3 I John 5 : II, 12. 


made the means of a soul's ransom, of its rescue, of its 
redemption. " The life [the soul] of the flesh is in the 
blood," said the Lord : " and I have given it to you 
upon the altar to make atonement [to be a cover, to 
be a propitiation] for your souls [for your lives] : for it 
is the blood that maketh atonement by reason [of its 
being] the life [the soul]." : " For as to the life [the 
soul] of all flesh, the blood thereof is all one with the 
life [the soul] thereof." 2 And so all through the 
record of the Old Covenant. 

It is the same in the New Covenant as it was in the 
Old. Atonement, salvation, rescue, redemption, is by 
the blood, the life, of Christ; not by his death as such; 
not by his broken body in itself; but by that blood 
which was given at the inevitable cost of his broken 
body and of his death. The figure of leprosy and its 
attempted cure by blood may tend to make this truth 
the clearer. In the leper, the very blood itself the 
life was death smitten. The only hope of a cure was 
by purging out the old blood, by means of an inflow- 
ing current of new blood which was new life. 3 To 
give this blood, the giver himself must die; but it was 
his blood, his life, not his death, which was to be the 
means of cure. So, also, with the sin-leprous nature. 
The old life must be purged out, by the incoming of a 
new life ; of such a life as only the Son of God can supply. 
1 Lev. 17: II. 3 Lev. 17: 14. 3 See pages 116-125. 


In order to supply that blood, its Giver must himself 
die, and so be a sharer of the punishment of sin, al- 
though he was himself without sin. Thus was the new 
life made a possibility to all, by faith. 

So it is that "we have redemption [rescue from 
death] through [by means of] his blood", 1 and that 
"the blood of Jesus . . . cleanseth us [by its purg- 
ing inflow] from all sin." 2 So it is that he "loosed us 
[freed us] from our sins by his [cleansing, his re-vivi- 
fying] blood." 3 So it is that " if any man is in Christ 
[is one in nature with Christ, through sharing, by faith, 
the blood of Christ], he is a new creature [Of course 
he is] : the old things are passed away ; behold they 
are become new/' 4 So-it is, also, that it can be said 
of those whose old lives were purged away by the in- 
flowing redeeming life of Christ : " Ye died, and your 
life is hid with Christ in God." 5 And "this is the true 
God and eternal life." 6 

"These things have I written unto you/' says the 
best loved of the disciples of Jesus, "that ye may know 
that ye have eternal life ; even unto you that believe on 
the name of the Son of God"; 7 "that ye may believe 
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, be- 
lieving, ye may have life in his name." 8 For "God 
commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we 
x Eph. 1:7. a r j ohn z . 7> SReVt t 5 * 2 Cor< 5 . 17> 

6 Col. 3:3. 6 j John 5 . 20> 7 ! j^ ^ . ^ s j onn 2O . ^i. 


were yet sinners, Christ died for us [while we were 
separated from God by sin, God yielded his only Son, 
to give his blood, at the cost of his death, as a means 
of our inter-union with God]. Much more then, being 
now justified by [or, in] his blood [being brought into 
inter-union with God by that blood], shall we be saved 
from the wrath of God [against sin] through him [in 
whom we have life]. For if, while we were enemies, 
we were reconciled to God [restored to union with 
God] through the [blood-giving] death of his Son, 
much more, being [thus] reconciled, shall we be saved 
by [or, in] his life." 1 

All who will, may, now, "be partakers of the divine 
nature," z through becoming one with Christ, by sharing 
his blood, and by being nourished with his body. 
Entering into the divine-human covenant of blood- 
friendship, which Christ's death has made possible, 
the believer can be so incorporated with Christ, by 
faith, as to identify himself with the experience and 
the hopes of the world's Redeemer ; and even to say, 
in all confidence /" I have been crucified with Christ; 
yet I live ; and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in 
me ; and that life which I now live in the flesh, I live 
in faith, the faith which is in [which centres in] the Son 
of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me." 3 
" For as the Father hath life in himself, even so gave 

1 Rom. 5 : 8-12. 2 2 Pet 1:4. 3 Gal. 2 : 20. 



he to the Son also to have life in himself." * And " it 
was the good pleasure of the Father that in him [the 
Son] should all the fulness dwell ; and through him 
to reconcile all things unto himself, having made 
peace [having completed union] through the blood of 
his cross " 2 in the bonds of an everlasting covenant 
between those who before were separated by sin. 

" Remember, that aforetime ye, the Gentiles in the 
flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that [people] 
which is called Circumcision, in the flesh, made by 
hands, that ye were at that time separate from Christ, 
alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and 
strangers from the covenants of the promise, having 
no hope and without God in the world. But now in 
Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made nigh 
in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who 
made both [Jew and Gentile] one, and broke down the 
middle wall of partition, having abolished in his flesh 
the enmity, even the law of commandments contained 
in ordinances ; that he might create in himself of the 
twain one new man, so making peace; and might 
reconcile them both in one body unto God through 
the cross, having slain the enmity thereby : and he 
came and preached peace to you that were far off, and 
peace to them that were nigh : for through them we 
both have our access in one Spirit unto the Father *' 3 

1 John 5: 26. 2 Col. I: 19,20. 8 Eph. 2: 11-16. 


" For in him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the 
Godhead bodily, and in him ye are made full, who is 
the head of all principality and power : in whom ye 
were also circumcised with a circumcision not made 
with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, 
in the circumcision of Christ." l " For ye all are one 
man in Christ Jesus. And if ye are Christ's, then are 
ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise " 2 
inheritors of the blood-covenant promises of God to 
Abraham his friend. 

No longer is there a barrier between the yearning, 
loving, trusting heart, and the mercy-seat of reconcilia- 
tion in the very presence of God. We who share the 
body and the blood of Christ, by faith, are one with 
him in all the privileges of his Sonship. "For by one 
offering he hath perfected [hath completed in their 
right to be sharers with him] for ever them that are 
sanctified [that are devoted, that are consecrated, to 
him]. And the Holy Ghost also beareth witness to 
us : for after he hath said, 

This is the covenant that I will make with them 

After those days, saith the Lord ; 

I will put my laws on their heart, 

And upon their mind also will I write them ; 

then saith he, 

And their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 

1 Col. 2:9-11. 2 Gal. 3 : 28, 29. 


Now where remission of these [of sins and iniquities] 
is, there is no more offering [no more need of offering] 
for sin. Having, therefore, brethren, boldness [the 
right of boldness] to enter into the Holy Place [the 
Holy of Holies] by the blood of Jesus, by the way 
which he dedicated for us, a new and living way, 
through the veil, that is to say his flesh ; and having 
a Great Priest over the house of God ; let us draw near 
with a true heart in fulness of faith, having our hearts 
sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our body 
washed with pure water [there being no longer need 
of blood-sprinkling or blood-laving, to those who are 
sharers of the divine nature the divine blood]." 1 

No more an altar of sacrifice, but a table of commu- 
nion, 2 is where we share the presence of Him in whom 
we have life, by the blood of the everlasting covenant. 
To question the sufficiency of the "one sacrifice" 
which Christ made, " once for all," s of his body and 
his blood, as a means of the believer's inter-union with 
God, is to count the blood of the covenant an unholy, 
or a common, thing, and is to do despite unto the Spirit 
of grace. 4 "Wherefore, my beloved, flee from idola- 
try. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. 
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a commu- 
nion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we 

1 Heb. 10 : 14-22. 2 See page 167 ff., supra. 

8 Comp. Heb. 9 : 24-28 ; 10 : 10. * Heb. 10 : 28, 29. 


break, is it not a communion of the body of Christ? 1 
Seeing that we [believers together in Christ], who are 
many, are one bread, one body : for we all partake of 
the one bread." 2 

" Now the God of peace, who brought again from 
the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep with [or, by; 
or, by means of] the blood of the eternal covenant, 
even our Lord Jesus, make you perfect [complete] to 
do his will, working in us that which is well pleasing 
in his sight, through Jesus Christ ; to whom be the 
glory for ever and even Amen." 3 

1 The Covenant of Bread and the Covenant of Blood are two distinct 
covenants, in Oriental practice as well as in biblical teaching; although 
this difference has been strangely overlooked by biblical students in the 
realm of Orientalisms. The Covenant of Bread is temporary; the 
Covenant of Blood is permanent. The one secures a trace ; the other 
secures a vital union. Symbolically, the one gives nourishment, the 
other gives life. The Covenant of Bread is an exhibit and a pledge of 
hospitality, and it bungs one into family or tribal relations with those 
proffering it The Covenant of Blood is immediately personal and 
individual. There seems to be an unconscious trace of this distinction 
in the lefusal of the Romish Chinch to include the laity hi the symboliz- 
ing of the Covenant of Blood, at the Lord's table. 

2 1 Cor. 10 : 14-17. 8 Heb. 13 : 20, 21. 





IT seems strange that a primitive rite like the blood-covenant, with its 
world-wide sweep, and its manifold applications to the history of sacrifice, 
should have received so little attention from students of the latter theme. 
Noi has it been entirely ignored by them ; although its illustrations have, 
in this connection, been drawn almost entirely from the field of the 
classic writers, where its religious aspects have a minor prominence; 
and, as a result, the suggestion of any real importance in the religious 
symbolism of this rite has been, generally, brushed aside without its 
receiving due consideration. 

Thus, in The Speaker's Commentary, which is one of the more 
recent, and more valuable, scholaily and sensible compends of sound 
and thoiough biblical criticism, there aie references to the rite of 
human blood-covenanting in its possible bearing on the blood-cove- 
nanting of God with Israel before Mount Sinai, 1 after this sort : " The 
instances from classical antiquity, adduced, as parallels to this sacrifice 
of Moses, by B&hr, Knobel, and Kahsch, in which animals were 
slaughtered on the making of covenants, are either: those in which the 
animal was slain to signify the punishment due to the party that might 
break the covenant (Horn. //., III., 298; XIX., 252; Liv. Hist., I., 
24; XXI., 45); those in which confederates dipped their hands, or 
their weapons, in the same blood (yEsch. Sept. c. Theb., 43 ; Xenoph, 
Anab. 9 II., 2, g 9) ; or those in which the contracting parties tasted 

1 See pages 238-340, sufra 



each other's blood (Herodot. [-flirf.] I., 74', IV, 74; Tac Annal ', 
XII., 47). All these usages are based upon ideas which are but very 
superficially related to the subject; they have indeed no tiue connection 
whatever with the idea of sacrifice as the seal of a covenant between 
God and man." 1 

When the entire history of man's outreaching aftei an inter-union of 
natures with his fellow-man and with his God is faiily studied, in the 
light thrown on il by the teachings of the divine-human Being, who gave 
of his own blood for the consummation of the longed-for divine-human 
inter-union, it will be more clearly seen, whether it weie the relation of 
the piimitive rite itself to the idea of sacrifice, or the study of that i elation, 
which was " very superficial," as a cause of its popular overlooking. 

The closest and most sacied form of covenant ever known in the 
primitive world, was that whereby two persons covenanted to become 
one, through being partakers of the same blood At Sinai, when Je- 
hovah would covenant with Israel, a common supply of substitute blood 
proffered by Israel and accepted by Jehovah was taken; and one- 
half of it was cast upon the altar, Godward, while the other half of it 
was cast Israelward, upon the people 2 The declaration of Moses to 
Israel, then, was: "Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord 
hath made with you ; " or, as that declaration is repeated, in Hebrews : 
"This is the blood of the covenant which God covenanted to you- 
ward." 3 And from that time forward, the most sacred possession of 
Israel, above which hovered the visible sign of the piesence of Je- 
hovah, was the casket which contained the record of that blood-made 
covenant ; and it was toward the mercy-seat cover of that Covenant 
Casket, that House of the Covenant, that the symbolic blood of atone- 
ment through new life was sprinkled, in the supreme renewals of that 
covenant by Israel's representative year by yeai. 

Even the Speaker's Commentary says, of this mutual blood-sharing 
by Israel and Jehovah at Sinai : " The blood thus divided between the 
1 Speaker's Comm. t at Exod 34:8. ^Exod 24.3-8. SHeb. 9 2O 


two parties to the covenant signified the sacramental union between the 
Lord and his people." 1 Of the blood which was to be poured out on 
Calvary, Jesus said : This is my blood of the [new] covenant, which 
is shed foi many." 2 And of the sacramental union which could be 
secuied, between his trustful disciples and himself, by tasting his blood, 
and by being nounshed on his flesh, he said: " Except ye eat the flesh 
of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves. 
He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life." 3 It 
really looks as if there were more than a superficial relation between 
the fact of an absolute inter-union of two natmes through an inter-flow 
of a common life, in the nte of blood-covenanting, and the sacramental 
union between the Lord and his people, which was typified in the 
blood-covenant at Sinai, and which was consummated in the blood- 
covenant at Calvary. 

Herbert Spencer, indeed, seems to have a cleaier conception than the 
Speaker's Commentary, of the relation of human blood-covenanting, to 
the inter-union of those in the flesh, with spiritual beings. He perceives 
that the primitive offerings of blood over the dead, from the living person, 
are, in some cases, " explicable as arising from the practice of establishing 
a sacred bond between living persons by partaking of each other's blood ; 
the derived conception being, that those who give some of their blood to 
the ghost of a man just dead and lingering near [and of course, the princi- 
ple is the same when the offering of blood is to the gods, thereby] effect 
with it a union, which on the one side implies submission, and on the 
other side friendliness." * This admission by Mr. Spencer covers the 
essential point in the argument of this entire volume. 


Among all primitive peoples, the blood has been deemed the repre- 
sentative of life. The giving of blood has been counted the giving of 

i Speaker's Com., at Exod. 24 : 8. a Mark 14 : 24. 

* John 6 : 53, 54- *Princi$les of Sociology, II., 364. 


life. The receiving of blood has been counted the icceiving of life 
The sharing of blood has been counted the sharing of life. Hence, the 
blood has always been counted the chief thing in any sacrificial victim 
proffered to the gods; and whatever was sought thiough sacrifice, was 
to be obtained by means of the blood of the offenng. Even though no 
specific reference to the blood be found in the preserved descriptions of 
one of the earlier sacrifices, as, for example, the Akkadian sacrifice of the 
first-born (page 1 66, supra), the very fact that the offering made was of a 
hfe, and that blood was recognized as life, is in itself the proof that it was 
the blood which gave the offering its value. 

Sir Gardiner Wilkinson, who was thoroughly familiar with both 
Egyptian and biblical antiquities, was impressed by the "sinking le- 
semblance " of many of the religious ntes of the Jews to those of Egypt, 
" particularly the manner in which the sacrifices weie performed;" 1 
and he points out the Egyptian method of so slaying the sacrificial ox, 
that its blood should be fully discharged from the body ; a point which 
was deemed of such importance in the Jewish ntual. 2 Of the illus- 
tiation of this ceremony given by Wilkinson fiom an ancient Egyptian 
painting, 3 the Speaker's Commentary says: "There is no reason to 
doubt that this picture accurately represents the mode pursued in the 
court of the [Jewish] Tabernacle." 4 

Almost as universal as the recognition of the life in the blood has 
been the identification of the heart as the blood- centre and the blood- 
fountain, and so as the epitome of the life itself. Says Pierret, 6 the 
French Egyptologist, concerning the pre-eminence given to the heart 
by the ancient Egyptians : " The heart was embalmed separately in a 
vase placed under the guardianship of the genius Duaoumautew 
[rather, Tuau-mut-ef, or, Reverencer of his Mother. * My heart was 
my mother J See page 99, supra] without doubt because this organ, 

*Anc. Egypt , III , 411. 2 See pages 245 f , supra. 

*Anc. Egypt. t II , 32 * Note on Lev, chap. 17. 

* Dictionnaire d* ArcMologie gyptienne , s. v. "Coeur." 


indispensable to the lesurrection, could not be replaced in the body of a 
man, until it had been weighed in the scale of the balance of the 
Osirian judgment ( Todtenbuch cxxv.) ; where representing the acts of 
the dead, it ought to make equilibrium with the statue of the goddess 
Tiuth [Maat] (See the framed papyri in the funereal hall of the 
Museum of the Louvre ) Indeed the favorable sentence is thus formu- 
lated : It is permitted that his heart be in its place ' It is said to 
Setee I., in the temple of Abydos : <I bring thee thy heart to thy 
bieast; I put it in its place.* The heart, principle of existence and of 
regeneration, was symbolized by the scarabseus : it is for this reason that 
the texts relative to the heart were inscribed upon the funereal scara- 
bseuses, which at a certain epoch were introduced into the body of the 
mummy itself, to replace the absent organ." 

The idea that the heart is in itself life, and that it can even live 
apart fiom the body, is found all the world over. References to it in 
ancient Egypt, in India, and in primitive America, have aheady been 
pointed out (pages loo-no, supra]. It shows itself, likewise, in the 
folk-lore of the Arctic regions, and of South Africa, as well as of the 
Norseland. In a Samoyed tale, " seven brothers are in the habit of 
taking out their hearts and sleeping without them. A captive damsel, 
whose mother they have killed, receives the extracted hearts, and hangs 
them on the tent-pole, where they remain till the following morning. 
One night her brother contrives to get the hearts into his possession. 
Next morning, he takes them into the tent, where he finds the brothers 
at the point of death. In vain do they beg for their hearts, which he 
flings on the floor. ' And as he flings down the hearts, the brothers 
die.' " x According to a Hottentot story, " the heart of a girl, whom a 
lion has killed and eaten, is extracted from the lion, and placed in a 
calabash filled with milk [the * heart ' and ' milk ' ; or blood and bread, 
life and its nourishment (See pages 10-12, 261 f , supra)}. 'The cala- 

l In substance from Castren's Ethnologische Vorlesungen uber die Altaischen 
Volker, p. 174, as cited in Ralston's R-usstan Folk Tales, p. 122. 



bash increased in size; and, in pioportion to this, the ghl grew again 
inside [of] it.' J>1 "In a Noise story, a giant's heait lies in an egg, 
inside a duck, which swims in a well, in a church, on an island ; " 2 and 
this story is found in vaiiations in othei lands. 3 ' So, again, in a " Rus- 
sian story, a piince is grievously tormented by a witch who has got 
hold of his heart, and keeps it perpetually seething in a magic cauld- 
ron." 4 

This same idea is found in the nomenclature of the Bible, and in the 
every-day speech of the civilized world of the present age. In moie 
than nine hundred instances, in our common English Bible, the Hebrew 
or the Gieek word for " heart," as a physical organ, is applied to man's 
personality ; as if it weie, in a sense, synonymous with his life, his self, 
his soul, his nature. In every phase of man's chaiactei, of man's 
needs, or of man's experiences, " heart " is employed by us as signifi- 
cant of his innermost and lealest self. He is " hard-hearted," " tender- 
hearted," "warm-hearted," "cold-hearted," "hearty," or "heartless." 
His words and his conduct aie " heait-touching," "heart-cheeiing," 
" heait-searchmg," "heart-pieicing," " heart-thnlling," "heait-sooth- 
ing," or "heart-rending;' 7 and they are a cause, in others, of "heait- 
burning," "heart-aching," "heart-easing," or " heait-expanding." At 
times, his "heart is set upon" an object of longing, or again "his 
heart is in his mouth " because of his excited anxiety. It may be, that 
he shows that " his heart is in the right place," or that " his heart is at 
rest " at all times. The truest union of two young lives, is wheie " the 
heart goes with the hand " in the marriage covenant. 

And so, all the world over, from the beginning, piimitive man, in the 
lowest state of savagery and in the highest stage of civilization, has 

i From Bleek's Reynard the Fox in South Africa, p 55 , as cited Ibid , p 123, 

2 From Asbjornsen and Mae, No 36, Dasent, No 9, p 71, as cited Ibtd , p. xao. 
* See references to Kohler's Orient und Occident, II., 99-103, Ibid., p. 1223, note. 
* From Khudyakof, No no, as cited Ibid , p 124. 


been accustomed to recognize the truth, and to employ the symbolisms 
of speech, which are in accordance with the latest advances of physio- 
logical and psychological science, and with the highest spiritual con- 
ceptions of biblical truth, in our nineteenth Christian century, concern- 
ing the mental, the moral, and the leligious needs and possibilities of 
the human race Man as he is needs a " new heart," a new nature, a 
new life; and that need can be supplied by the Author of life, thiough 
that regeneiation which is indicated, and which, in a sense, is icalized 
in new blood which is pure at the start, and which purifies by its puig- 
ing inflow. The recognition of this truth, and the outreaching of man 
in its direction, are at the basis of all forms of sacrifice in all the ages. 
And this wonderful attainment of piimitive man everywhere, we aie 
asked to accept as man's meie natural inheritance from the sensory 
quiverings of his ancestral tadpole ! 

" The knowledge of the ancients on the subject [of blood as the 
synonym of life] may, indeed, have been based on the mere observation 
that an animal loses its life when it loses its blood," says the Speakers 
Commentary. But it does seem a little strange, that none of the 
ancients ever observed that man is very liable to lose his life when he 
loses his brains^ and that few animals are actively efficient for practi- 
cal service without a head; whereas both man and the lower animals 
do lose blood freely without death resulting. 

It is true that in many parts of the world the liver was made promi- 
nent as seemingly a synonym of life ; but this was obviously because 
of the popular belief that the liver was itself a mass of coagulated 
blood. The idea seems to have been that, as the heart was the blood- 
fountain, the liver was the blood-cistern ; and that, as the source of life 
(or of blood, which life is,) was at the heart, so the great receptacle of 
life, or of blood, was the livei Thus, in the classic myth of Pro- 
metheus, the avenging eagle of Jupiter is not permitted to gnaw upon 
the life-giving heart itself of the tortured victim, but upon the com- 
pacted body of life in the captive's liver; the fountain of life is not to 


be destroyed, but the cistern of life is to be emptied daily of all that it 
had received from the out-flowing heart during the preceding night. 
And in the symbolism of these two organs, the ancients seem to have 
been agreed, that " The heait is the seat of the soul [thurnos (dvfjiog) 
the nobler passions] ; the liver [is the seat], of desire ; " l or, as again it 
is phrased, " The seat of the soul is unquestionably the heait, even as the 
hver is the seat of emotion." 2 

Buiton has called attention to the fact that among the Arabs " the 
liver and the spleen aie both supposed to be * congealed blood,' " and 
that the Bed'ween of the Hejaz justify their eating of locusts, which 
belong to an " unclean " class of animals, and of liver which lepresentb 
forbidden blood, by this couplet : 

" We are allowed two carrions, and two bloods, 
The fish and locust, the liver and the spleen " * 

He has also noted that the American Indian partakes of the liver, as well 
as of the heart of a fallen enemy, in ordei to the assimilating of the enemy's 
life ; * and he finds many correspondences between the desert dwelleis 
of America and of Arabia " The [Ameiican] * brave,' " he says, 
" stamps a aed hand upon his mouth to show that he has drunk the 
blood of a foe. f Of the Utaybah * Harami,' it is similaily ielated,that, 
aftei moital combat, he tastes the dead man's goie." B 

Even in modem English, the woid " liver " has been thought by 
many to repiesent " life " 01 "blood." Thus, in one of our dictionaries 
we aie told that the word is derived fiom the Anglo-Saxon and the 
Scandinavian verb "to live," "because [the liver is] of so gieat import- 
ance to life, or animal vitality." 6 In another, its denvation is ascnbed 

1 Timaeus of Locri, cited in Liddell and Scott's Greek Eng Lex , s. v, 
" Hepar " See also page 108 f , supra 

2 Pollux's Onomasticon, II , 4, 226 * Pilgrim to Mec, andMed , p 376. 

* See page 128, supra.. 

6 Pilgrim, to Mec And Med , p. 378. See also page 129 f. , supra. 
6 Richardson's Eng Diet , s. V. " Liver/* 


to lopper, and lapper, " to coagulate," " from its lesemblance to a mass 
of clotted blood." 1 

Among the aborigines of America the prominence given to the blood 
and to the heart was as gieat, and as distinctly marked, as among the 
peoples of ancient Egypt, or any other portion of the far East This 
truth has been brought out most fully by the valuable peisonal researches 
of Mr Fiank H. Gushing, of the Smithsonian Institution, into the 
mythology and sociology of the Zufiis of New Mexico. From his re- 
ports it would appear that, according to the pnests of that people, " all 
true fetiches [or, material symbols of spiritual existences] aie either 
actual petrifactions of the animals they represent, or were such origin- 
ally" according as the present form of the fetish is natmal,""br is 
mechanically fashioned. These rude stone images of the animals of 
prey, " which aie of course mere concretions or stiangely eioded rock 
forms," are supposed to be the shriveled and distorted remains of beings 
which were long ago turned to stone. Within these fetishes the heart 
of the original animal stall exists ; (" his heart still lives, even though his 
person be changed to stone " ;) and it needs for its sustenance the 
blood, or the " life fluid," of the game which was, from the beginning, 
the ordinary prey of that animal. Hence each fetish is pleased to hear 
the prayers and to give success to the hunting of its piesent possessor,, 
in order to the obtaining of the life fluid which is essential to its nour- 

These prey fetishes of the Zuiiis belong to the Prey-God Brotherhood, 
and when not in use they are guaided by the " Keeper of the Medicine 
of the Deei." Before they are employed in a hunt, there is an assem- 
bly for their woiship ; and, after ceremonial prayer to them for their 
assistance, they are taken out for service by members of the Brother- 
hood to which they belong. " The fetich is then placed in a little cres- 
cent-shaped bag of buckskin which the hunter weais suspended over the 
left bieast (or, heart) by a buckskin thong, which is tied above the right 

i Aimandale's Ogilvie's Imperial Diet , s v " Liver " 


shoulder." "When the trail of the animal hunted is discoveied by the 
hunter, he finds a place where the animal has lain down, and theie he 
makes an oblation by depositing his offenng " in exactly the spot ovei 
which the heart of the animal is supposed to have lested." Then he 
bnngs out his fetish and with certain ceremonies and invocations he puts 
it on the track of the prey. 

"As soon as the animal is dead, he [the hunter] lays open its vibceia, 
cuts through the diaphragm, and makes an incision in the aoita, 01 in 
the sac which incloses the heart. He then takes out [of its bag] the piey 
fetich, bieathes on it, and addresses it thus : . . . ' Si ! My fathei, 
this day of the blood [liteially of the 'life fluid '] of a game-being, thou 
shalt dnnk ([shalt] water thyself). With it thou shalt enlaige (add 
unto) thy heart.' He then dips the fetich into the blood which the sac 
still contains, continuing meanwhile the prayer, as follows : . . . 
Likewise, I, a "done" being [a living human being], with the blood 
[the "life-fluid," which is] the flesh of a raw being (game animal), 
shall enlarge (add unto) my heart/ Which [prayer] finished, he scoops 
up, with his hand, some of the blood and sips it; then teaiing foith the 
litter^ ravenously devours a pait of it [as the blood-flesh, or, the blood 
which is the flesh], and exclaims, * -lak-kw&t> (Thanks)." After 
all this, he deposits a portion of the clot of blood fiom within the 
heart, commingled with various articles, in a grave digged on the spot 
where the animal has died ; repeating, as he does this, a prayer which 
seems to show his belief that the slain animal still lives in this buiied 
heart-blood. Again, when the game is at the hunter's home, the 
women "lay on either side of its body, next to the heart, an ear of coin 
(significant of lenewed life), and say prayeis " over it. Finally " the 
fetich is leturned to the Keeper of the Deer Medicine, with thanksgiv- 
ing and a prayer, not unlike that uttered on taking it forth." 1 

In these ceremonies, it is evident that the Zufiis, like the Oiientals, 

i See Cushmg's paper on " ZuSi Fetiches," in Second Annual Report of the 
Bureau of Ethnology, pp 3-43 


recognize the blood as the life, the heart as the epitome of life, the luer 
as a congealed mass of blood, and the transference of blood as the trans- 
ference of life. Moreover, there is here a trace of that idea of the le- 
vivifymg, by blood-bathing, of a being that had tinned into stone, which 
is found in the legends of Arabia, and of the Norseland (See page 119 f , 
supra). Is there not, indeed, a reference to this world-wide figure of 
the living stone, in the Apostle 1 s suggestion, that those who were counted 
as worthless stones by an ignorant world aie vivified by the renewing 
blood of Chnst, and so are shown to be a holy people ? "As new born 
babes [renewed by the blood of Christ] long for the spiritual milk [the 
means of sacred nourishment] which is without guile, that ye may grow- 
thereby unto salvation ; if ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious [if, 
indeed, ye have been made alive by the touch of his blood] : unto whom 
coming, [unto Him who is] a Living Stone rejected indeed of men, but 
with God [who knows the possibilities of that Stone] elect, precious, ye 
also, as living stones [as new blood-vivified petrifactions], are built up a 
spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, 
acceptable to God through Jesus Chiist." l 

There is anothei gleam of this idea of the stones vivified by blood, in 
a custom reported from among the Indians of British Columbia, in a 
private letter written by a careful observer of Indian habits and cere- 
monies. When the Indian girls arrived at the years of womanhood 
they weie accuscomed, theie as in many other parts of the world, to 
pass through a formal initiation into a new stage of existence. Going 
apart b> themselves, at some distance from their settlements, they 
would remain for three days and nights, while they rubbed their naked 
bodies with loose stones until the blood came, and then laid the blood- 
stained stones in a double row as a memorial. She who could cover the 
largest number of stones with her blood, had the fairest prospect in 
life, in the line of a woman's peculiar mission. This certainly would 
be a not unnatural thought as an outgrowth of the belief that stones* 
1 1 Peter 2 : 2-5. 


anointed with freely surrendeied blood, can be made to have life in 

It is much the same in war as in the hunt, among the Zuiiis. " As 
with the huntei, so with the warrior ; the fetich is fed on the life-blood 
of the slain." * And heie, again, is a link of connection between can- 
nibalism and religious worship. Another illustration of the pre-eminence 
given to the heart, as the epitome of the very being itself, is the fact 
that the animals pictuied on the pottery of these people, and of neigh- 
boring peoples, commonly had the rude conventional figure of a heart 
repiesented in its place on each animal ; as if to show that the animal 
was living, and that it had a living soul. 2 

At the othei side of the world, as it were, in Boineo, theie is given 
similar pre-eminence, as among the Zunis, to the blood as the life, to the 
liver as a repiesentative of blood, and to the heait as the epitome of the 
life. " The pimcipal sacrifice of the Sakarang Dayaks," says Mr. St. 
John, " is killing a pig and examining its heart, which is supposed to 
foretell events with the utmost certainty," This custom seems to have 
grown out of the idea that the heart of any God-devoted oiganism, as 
the embodiment of its life is closely linked with the Author of all life, 
who is the Disposer of all events A human heait is natuially deemed 
preferable to a pig's ; but the latter is the common substitute foi the 
former. Yet, " not many years ago," one of the Sakaiang chiefs put 
to death a lad " of his own race," remaikmg, as he did so : " It has 
been our custom heretofore to examine the heait of a pig, but now we 
will examine a human one." 8 The Kayans, again, examine "the 
heart and liver ," as preliminary to covenant-making.* Among the 
Dayaks, the blood of a fowl sacrificed by one who is supposed to be in 

i Cushing's " Zuni Fetiches," p 43 

2 See " Illustrated Catalogue of Collections from Indians of New Mexico and 
Arizona," 1879, in Second Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology, Fibres 361- 
387; 421-430 

3 St John's Life in Far East, I , 74 f i fad., \ , 115 f- 


favor with the gods, has peculiar potency when sprinkled upon " the 
lintels of the doors." * And a house will be deserted by its Dayak 
inhabitants, " if a drop of blood be seen sprinkled on the floor, unless 
they can prove whence it came.'* 2 

An incidental connection of this recognition of the blood as the life, 
with the primitive nte of blood covenanting, is seen in one form of the 
mainage rite among the Dayaks. 3 In the rite of blood-covenanting 
itself, as consummated between Mr. St. John and Siiigauding, a cigarette 
stained with the blood of the covenanting parties was smoked by them 
mutually (See page 51, supra]. In the marriage covenant, a cigar and 
betel leaf piepared with the areca nut are put fiist into the mouth of the 
bride by the bridegroom, and then into the mouth of the bridegroom 
by the biide ; while two fowls are waved over their heads by a priest, 
and then killed ; their blood being " caught in two cups " for examina- 
tion, instead of for drinking.* 

So, whether it be the heart as the primal fountain of blood, or 
the liver as the great receptacle of blood, or the blood itself in its 
supposed outflowing from the heait thiough the liver, that is made 
prominent in the rites and teachings of primitive peoples, the root- 
idea is still the same, that " as to the life of all flesh, the blood 
thereof is all one with the life theieof ; " 5 and that as a man is in 
his blood, so he is in his nature; that his "good blood" or "his 
bad blood," his "hot blood" or his "cold blood," will be evidenced 
in his daily walk ; for that which shows out in his outer life is " in 
the blood " which is his inner life ; and that m order to a change of 
his nature there must in some way be a change of his blood. Hence, 
the universal outreaching of the lace after new blood which is new life. 
Hence, the provisions of God for new life through that blood which is 
the Life. 

i St John's Life in Far East, L, 160. 2 Kid , I , 187 

3 This is a different form from that reported at page 192 f , supra 
4 St John's Life in Far East> I , 61 5 Lev. 17 14. 



A belief in the transmigration of souls, from man to the lower 
animals, and vice versa, has been found among vaiious peoples, in all 
the histoiic ages. The oiigin of this belief has been a puzzling question 
to lationalistic myth-students. Starting out, as do most of these students, 
with the rigid theory that man worked himself slowly upward fiom 
the lowest savageiy, without any external revelation, they aie confronted 
with piimitive customs on every side which go to show a populai belief 
in soul-transmigiation, and which they must tiy to account for within 
the limits of then unproven theoiy. The icsult is, that they fiist pre- 
suppose some conception in the piimitive man's mind of spiritual 
things, and then they conveniently lefer all confusing facts to that pie- 
supposed conception. *" Animism" is one of the pet names for this le- 
solvent of grave difficulties. And when " Animism " is supplemented by 
"Fetishism," "Zoolatry," and "Totemism," the lequisite numbei of 
changes is secured for the meeting of any number of peiplexing facts in 
the religious belief of primitive man eveiywhere. 

As a matter of simple fact, man's conception of spixitual existences is 
not accounted for by the " scientists." And the claim that such a con- 
ception was innate in primitive man, or that it was a natural growth in 
man's unaided progress, is at the best but an unpioved theory. In the 
early part of this century, theie weie thousands of deaf-mutes in the 
United States, who had never been educated by the system which is 
now so effective for that class in the community This gave a raie op- 
portunity of learning the normal spintual attainments of unsophisticated 
man; of man uninfluenced by external levelation or traditions Nor 
was this opportunity unimproved for a good piupose When the Rev. 
Thomas H Gallaudet (himself a philosophical scientist) intiocluced the 
system of deaf-mute instruction into this country, he made a careful 
examination into the intelligence of all the deaf mutes brought under 


his care, on this point of spiritual conceptions. His declaration was, 
that he never found a person who, prior to specific instruction, had any 
conception of the nature or the existence of God. A single illustra- 
tion of Mr. Gallaudefs expenences in this line will suffice foi the entire 
series of them A young girl of sixteen years of age, or so, who pioved 
to be of far more than oidinary intelligence and mental capacity, had 
been brought up in a New England Christian home. She had been 
accustomed to bow her head when grace was said at the daily meals, 
to kneel in family prayer, and to attend church legularly, from eaily 
childhood , yet she had no idea of God, no thought of spiritual ex- 
istences of any sort whatsoever, until she was instructed in those things, 
in the line of her new education. 1 A writer on this subject, who differed 
with Mr. Gallaudet in his conclusions from these facts, added : " This 
testimony is confirmed by that of all the teacheis of the deaf and dumb, 
and the fact must be admitted.'' 2 Until some human being can be found 
with a conception of spnitual existences, without his having received 
instruction on that point from those who went before him, the claim 
in the face of such facts as these that primitive man ever obtained his 
spiritual knowledge or his spiritual conceptions from within himself 
alone, 01 without an external revelation to him, is an unscientific assump- 
tion, in the investigation of the origin of leligions in the world. 

But, with man's conception of spiritual things aheady existing 3 
(however he came by it), and with the existing belief that the blood is 
the life, or the soul, or the nature, of an organism, the idea of the trans- 
migration of souls as identical with the transfeience of blood, is a very 
natural corollary. The blood being the life, or the soul, of man and of 

i As to this specific instance, I can bear personal testimony, from my frequent 
communications on the subject with the person whose experience is here recited. 
fi Ant. Annals of Deaf and Dumb, Vol VI , p 134 

3 Paul's claim, in Romans i 18-23, is not that man knows God intuitively ; 
but that, having the knowledge of God, which he does have by tradition, man 
ought not to liken God to " four-footed beasts and creeping things " 


beast, if the blood of man passes into the body of a beast, or the blood 
of a beast passes into the body of a man, why should it not be inferred 
that the soul of the man, 01 of the beast, tiansnugiated accoidmgly ? 
If the Hindoo, believing that the blood of man is the soul of man, 
sees the blood of a man diunk up by a tigei, is it stiange that he should 
look upon that tiger as having within him the soul of the Hindoo, 
which has been thus appiopnated ? If the South Afucan supposes that, 
by his dunking the blood or eating the heait of a lion, he appropriates 
the lion's courage, 1 is it to be wondered at that when he sees a lion lick- 
ing the blood and eating the heait of a South Afucan, he should mfei 
that the lion is theieby the possessor of whatever was distinctive in the 
Zulu, or the Hottentot, peisonality ? 

Indeed, as has been aheady stated, in the body of this work, theie is 
still a question among physiologists, how far the tiansfeience of blood 
from one organism to another caines a tiansmigiation of soul (of the 
psyche^ not of the /) , a However this may be, the populai belief 
in such tiansmigration is fully accounted foi, by the recognized convic- 
tion that the blood is the soul. 

In this view of the case, theie is an added foice in the Mosaic pio- 
hibition lepeated as it is m the Apostolic Encyclical of the eating, 01 
drinking, of the blood of the lower animals ; with the possibility of 
theieby being made a partaker of the lower animal natuie. And what 
fiesh potency is given to Elijah's prophecy against Ahab and Jezebel, 
by this conception of the transfeience of nature by the transfeience of 
blood ! " Thus saith the Loid [to Ahab], Hast thou killed [Hast thou 
taken the blood of Naboth ?], and also taken possession [of Naboth's 
vmeyaid] ? . . . Thus saith the Lord, In the place wheie dogs 
licked the blood of Naboth, shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. 
. . And of Jezebel also spake the Loid, saying, The dogs shall 
eat Jezebel by the lamparts of Jezieel" The blood, the life, the 
soul of royalt)', shall become a poition of the very life of the prowl- 
i See page 136, supra. 2 See page 133 f , supra. 


ing scavenger dogs of the loyal city. And it came to pass accord- 
ingly, to both Ahab and Jezebel. 1 


Mention is made, in the text of this volume, 2 of the fact that the 
primitive nte of blood-covenanting is in piactice all along the Chinese 
border of the Bunnan Empire. In illustration of this truth, the following 
description of the nte and its linkings, is given by the Rev. R. M. Luthei, 
of Philadelphia, formeily a missionary among the Kaiens, in Bunnah. 
This mteiestmg sketch was received, in its piesent form, at too late a 
date for insertion in its place in the text , hence its appearance here 

" The blood-covenant is well known, and commonly practised among 
the Kaiens of Bunnah. There are three methods of making brother- 
hood, or truce, between members of one tribe and those of another. 

" The first is the common method of eating together. This, how- 
ever, is of but little binding foice, being a mere agreement to lefiain 
fiom hostilities for a limited time, and the truce thus made is liable to 
be broken at the briefest notice. 

" The second method is that of planting a tree. The parties to this 
covenant select a young and vigorous sapling, plant it with certain 
ceremonies, and covenant with each other to keep peace so long as the 
tiee lives. A covenant thus made is regarded as of gi eater force than 
that effected 01 sealed by the fiist method. 

" The thiid method is that of the blood-covenant, propeily so called. 
In this covenant the chief stands as the icpresentative of the tribe, if it 
be a tribal agreement ; or the father as the lepresentative of the family, 
if it be a moie limited covenant The ceremonies are public and 
solemn. The most important act is, of course, the mingling of the 
blood. Blood is drawn from the thigh of each of the covenanting 
parties, and mingled together. Then each dips his ringer into the blood 
and applies it to his lips. In some cases, it is said that the blood is 

1 1 Kings i * 17-23 ; 22 * 33-38 , 2 Kings 9 30-37 * At page 44, supra- 



actually drunk ; but the more common method is that of touching the 
lips with the blood-stained finger. 1 

" This covenant is of the utmost force. It coveis not merely an 
agreement of peace, or truce, but also a piomise of mutual assistance 
in peace and in war. It also conveys to the covenanting parties mutual 
tribal rites. If they are chiefs, the covenant embraces their entiie 
tribes. If one is a pnvate individual, his immediate family and dnect 
descendants are included in the agreement. 

" I never heard of the blood-covenant being bioken. I do not 
remember to have inquired paiticulaily on this point, because the way 
in which the blood-covenant was spoken of, always implied that its lup- 
tiue was an unheaid-of thing. It is regarded as a perfectly valid excuse 
foi any amount of leckless devotion, or of umeasonmg sacufice on be- 
half of another, for a Karen to say: * Thui flaw ttfcoh li, ' literally, 
* The blood, we have drunk it together.' An appeal for help on the 
basis of the blood-covenant is never disregarded. 

" A few of our missionaries have entered into the blood-covenant 
with Karen tribes; though most have been detened, either from never 
having visited the ' debatable land ' wheie the strong aim of British 
rule does not reach, or else, as in most instances, from a lepugnance to 
the act by which the covenant is sealed. In one instance, at least, 
where a missionary did enter into covenant with one of these tribes, 
the agreement has been interpreted as covering not only his chikhcn, 
but one who was so happy as to marry his daughter. In an enforced 
absence of fifteen years from the scene of his early missionary labois 
nothing has been at once so touching and so painful to the wnter as the 
frequent messages and letters asking 'When will you come back to 
your people V Yet, mine is only the inherited right above mentioned. 

"The blood-covenant gives even a foreigner every right which he 
would have if bom a member of the tribe. As an instance, the writer 
once shot a hawk in a Karen village, just as it was swooping dowo 
l See page 154, supra. 


upon a chicken. He was surprised to find, half an hour afterward, 
that his personal attendant, a stiaightforward Mountain Karen, had 
gone through the village and ' collected ' a fat hen fiom each house. 
When lemonstiated with, the mountaineer lephed, ' Why, Teacher, it 
is your right, that is our custom, you are one of us. These people 
wouldn't undei stand it if I did not ask for a chicken from each house, 
when you killed the hawk.' 

" In the wilder Karen regions, it is almost impossible to travel unless 
one is m blood-covenant with the chiefs, while on the other hand one 
is peifectly safe, if in that covenant. The disregard of this fact has 
cost valuable lives. When a stranger enters Karen territory, the chiefs 
order the paths closed. This is done by tying the long elephant glass 
across the paths. On reaching such a signal, the usual inquiry in the 
tiaveling paity is, Who is in blood-covenant with this tribe ? ' If one 
is found, even among the lowest servants, his covenant covers the 
party, on the way, as far as to the principal village or hill fortress. 
The party goes into camp, and sends this man on as an ambassador. 
Usually, guides are sent back to conduct the party at once to the chief's 
house. If no one is in covenant with the tribe, and the wisp of grass 
is broken and the party passes on, the lives of the trespasser aie for- 
feited. A sudden attack in some defile, or a night surprise, scatters the 
paity and drives the survivors back the way they came. 

" Notwithstanding the widespread prevalence of the blood-covenant, 
the ceremonies attendant upon its celebration, and even the existence of 
such a custom, are shrouded with a certain degree of secrecy, at least 
from outside nations. The writer has been surprised to find, on some 
occasions, thobe longer resident in Burmah than himself m total igno- 
rance of the existence of such a custom , and even the Karens themselves 
would probably deny its existence to a casual inquirer. Apropos of 
this, the writer did not know of such a custom m any other country 
until his attention was called to the fact by Dr. Trumbull, while this 
treatise was in preparation." 


Another account of the blood-covenant ute in Buimah is kindly 
furnished to me by the Rev Dr M. H. Bixby, of Piovidence, Rhode 
Island, who was also for some yeais a missionary among the Kaiens. 
He says : 

" In my first journey over the mountains of Buimah, into Shanland, 
towaid Western China, I passed through seveial tubes of wild Kaiens 
among whom the piactice of ' covenanting by blood ' pie vailed. 

" * If you mean what you say,' said the old chief of the Gccho tube 
to me, lefemng to my piofessions of friendship, 'you will drink truth 
with me ' ' Well, what is dunking tiuth ? ' I said. In icply, he said : 
'This is our custom Each chief pieices his aim diaws blood 
mingles it in a vessel with whisky, and drinks of it, both piomismg 
to be tiue and faithful to each other, down to the seventh geneiation.' 

" After the chiefs had drunk of the mingled blood and whisky, each 
one of then followers drunk of it also, and were theieby included in 
the covenant of friendship. 

" A company of Shans laid a plot to kill me and my company in 
Shanland, for the purpose of plunder They enteied into covenant 
with each othei by dunking the blood of their leadei mingled with 
whisky, or a kind of beer made from nee. 

"Those wild mountain tiibes have stiange tiaditions which indicate 
that they once had the Old Testament Scriptures, although now they 
have no wntten language. Some of the Kaien tubes have a written 
language, given them by the missionaries. 

" The covenant, also, exists in modified forms, in which the blood is 


In various parts of the East, a tree is given pionunence in the rite of 
blood-covenanting. In Burmah, as above shown, one mode of cove- 
nanting is by the mutual planting of a tree. 1 In Timor, a newly planted 
1 See page 313, supra 


fig-tree is made to bear a portion of the blood of the covenant, and to 
remain as a witness to the sacied nte itself 1 In one portion of Central 
Africa, a forked palm branch is held by the two parties, at their entering 
into blood-friendship; 2 and,' in anothei region, the ashes of a burned 
free and the blood of the covenanting brothers are brought into combi- 
nation, in the use of a knotted palm branch which the brothers together 
hold 3 And, again, in Canaan, in the days of Abraham, the planting of 
a tree was an element in covenant making ; as shown in the narrative 
of the covenant which Abraham cut with Abimelech, at Eeer-sheba.* 

It may, indeed, be fair to suppose that the trees at Hebron, which 
maiked the dwelling-place of Abraham were covenant-trees, witnessing 
the covenant between Abraham and the three Amonte chiefs ; and that 
theiefoie they have prominence in the sacred story. " Now he [Abram] 
dwelt by [or, in: Hebrew, beelonay ("O^tG)] the [four] oaks [or, 
terebinths] of Mamre, the Amorite, brother of Eschol, and brother of 
Anei ; and these [three it was who] were confederate [literally, weie 
masters of the covenant] with [the fouith one] Abram." 5 This ren- 
dering certainly gives a reason for the prominent mention of the tiees at 
Hebron, in conjunction with Abiam's covenant with Amorite chieftains ; 
and it accoids with Oriental customs of former days, and until to-day. 
So, also, it would seem that the tree which witnessed 6 the confirma- 
tion, or the recognition, of the covenant between another Abimelech and 
the men of Shechem and the men of Beth-millo, by the pillar (the 
symbol of Baal-bereeth) 7 in Shechem, 8 was a covenant-tree, after the 
Oriental custom in sacied covenanting. 

There is apparently a trace of the blood-covenanting and tree-plant- 
ing lite of primitive times in the blood-stained " Fiery Cross " of the 

1 See page 53, supra.. 2 See page 35, supra. 3 See page 37, supra,. 

* Gen 21 33. 5 See Gen 13 : 18 , 14 : 13 , 18 i 

6 The covenant was " with " [Hebrew, D $ '">*, not " with " as an instrument, 
but " with" as in the presence of, as accompanied by] the tree at Shechem. 

7 See page 218, supra> note. 8 Judges 9 1-6 



Scottish Highlands, with its correspondent Aiabian symbol of tribal 
covenant-duties in the hour of battle Von Wrede, describing his travels 
in the south-eastern part of Arabia, tells of the use of this symbol as he 
saw it employed as pielimmary to a tiibal warfare. A wai -council had 
decided on conflict. Then, " the fire which had burned in the midst 
of the chcle was newly kindled with a gieat heap of wood, and the 
up-leaping flames were gieeted with loud lejoicing. The gieen blanch 
of a nubk tiee [sometimes called the ' lote-tiee,' and again known as 
the * dom,' although it is not the d6m palm] l was then b: ought, and 
also a sheep, whose feet weie at once tied by the oldest shaykh. Aftei 
these prepaiations, the latter seized the branch, spoke a prayei over it, 
and committed it to the flames. As soon as eveiy tiace of gieen had 
disappeared, he snatched it fiom the me, again said a shoit piayer, and 
cut with his jembeeyeh [his short sword] the thioat of the sheep, with 
whose blood the yet burning branch was quenched He then toie a 
number of little twigs fiom the buint bianch, and gave them to as 
many Bed'ween, who hastened off with them in vanous dnections. 
The black bloody branch was then planted in the eaith. . . . The 
little twigs, which the shaykh cut off and gave to the Bed'ween, seive 
as alaim signals, with which the messengeis hasten fiom valley to 
valley, calling the sons of the tribe to the impending wai [by this 
blood-stained symbol of the sacied covenant which binds them in 
brotherhood]. None dare remain behind, without loss of honoi, when 
the chosen [covenant] sign appeals at his encampment, and the voice of 
its bearer calls to the war. ... At the conclusion of the wai* [thus 
inaugurated], the shaykhs of the propitiated tiibe return the blanches to 
the fire, and let them burn to ashes " 2 

How strikingly this parallels the use and the symbolism of the Fiery 
Cross, m the Scottish Highlands, as poitiayed m The Lady of the Lake. 
Sir Roderick Dhu would summon Clan Alpine against the King. 

1 Robinson's Biblical Researches ', II , 210 f , note. * 

3 Von Wrede' s Reise in Hadhramaut, p 197 . 


* A heap of withered boughs was piled, 
Of juniper and rowan wild, 
Mingled with shivers from the oak, 
Rent by the lightning's recent stroke. 
Brian the Hermit by it stood, 
Barefooted, in his frock and coat 

'Twas all prepared , and from the rock 
A goat, the patriarch of the flock, 
Before the kindling fire was laid, 
And pierced by Roderick's ready blade. 
Patient the sickening victim eyed 
The life-blood ebb in crimson tide 
Down his clogged beard and shaggy limb, 
Till darkness glazed his eyeballs dim. 
The grisly priest, with murmuring prayer, 
A slender crosslet framed with care, 
A cubit's length in measure due , 
The shaft and limbs uere rods of yew, 
Whose parents in Inch-Cailhach wave 
Their shadows o'er Clan Alpine's grave ' ' 

Lifting up this fragment of the tree from the grave of the patriarch of 
the Clan, 1 the old priest sounded anathemas against those who should 
be untrue to their covenant obligations as clansmen, when they lecog- 
nized this symbol of their common brotherhood. 

" Burst with loud roar their answer hoarse, 

' Woe to the traitor, woe ' ' 
Ben-an's gray scalps the accents knew, 
The joyous wolf from covert drew, 
The exulting eagle screamed afar, 
They knew the voice of Alpine's war. 
** The shout was hushed on lake and fell, 
The monk resumed his muttered spell : 
Dismal and low its accents came, 
The while he scathed the cross with flame. 

1 See reference (in note at page 268 f supra) to the custom in Sumatra, of taking 
an oath over the "grave of the original patriarch of the Passumah *' 


The crosslef s points of sparkling wood 
He quenched among the bubbling blood, 
And, as again the sign he reared, 
Hollow and hoarse his voice was heard : 

* Vt hen flits this cross from man to man, 
Vich-Alpme's summons to his clan, 
Burst be the ear that fails to heed 
Palsied the foot that shuns to speed ! 

Then Roderick with impatient look 
From Brian's hand the symbol took : 

* Speed, Malise, speed 1 * he said, and gave 
The crosslet to his henchman brave. 

* The muster-place be Lanrick mead 
Instant the time Speed, Malise, speed 1 "' 1 

'At sight of the Fiery Cross," says Scott, "every man, from sixteen 
years old to sixty, capable of bearing arms, was obliged instantly to 
repair, in his best arms and accoutrements, to the place of rendezvous. 
. . . During the civil war of 1745-6, the Fiery Cioss often made its 
circuit; and upon one occasion it passed through the whole dishict of 
Breadalbane, a tract of thirty-two miles, in three hours." 2 


Another item of evidence that the blood-covenant in its primitive 
form was a well-known rite m primitive Europe, is a citation by Athen- 
seus from Poseidonios to this effect : " Concerning the Germans, Poseido- 
nios says, that they, embracing each other in their banquets, open the 
veins upon their foreheads, 8 and mixing the flowing blood with their drink, 
they present it to each other ; esteeming it the farthest attainment of friend- 
ship to taste each othei's blood." 4 As Poseidonios was earlier than our 
Christian era, this testimony shows that the custom with our ancestors was 
in no sense an outgrowth, nor yet a perversion, of Christian practices. 

1 Lady of the L&kt, Canto III. 2 Ibid , note 

8 See pages 13, 86 f , supra. Athenseus's Z>ei$nosophistee> II., 24 (45). 


In Moore's Lalla Rookh, the young maiden, Zehca, being induced 
by Mokanna, the Veiled Prophet of Khorasian, to accompany him to 
the charnel-house, pledged herself to him, body and soul, in a draught 

of blood. 

" There in that awful place, when each had qnaffed 

And pledged in silence such a fearfal draught, 
Such oh ' the look and taste of that red howl 
Will haunt her till she dies he bcunu her sciJ 
By a dark oath, in hell's own language fram'd." 

It was after this that he leminded her of the binding force of this blood- 


" That cup thou shudderest, Lady was it sweet ? 

That cup \^e pledg'd, the charnel's choicest wine, 
Hath hound thee aye body and soul all mine." 

And her bitter memory of that covenant-scene, in the presence of the 
" bloodless ghosts," was : 

" The dead stood round us, -while I spoke that vow, 
Their blue lips echo'd it I hear them now ! 
Their ej'es glared on me, while I pledged that bowl, 
*Twas burning blood I feel it in my soul ' " 

Although this is Western poetry, it had a basis of careful Oriental study 
in its preparation ; and the blood-draught of the covenant is known to- 
Persian story and tradition. 

One of the indications of the world-wide belief in the custom of 
covenanting, and again of life seeking, by blood-drinking, is the fact 
that both Jews and Christians have often been falsely charged with 
drinking the blood of little children at their religious feasts. This was 
one of the frequent accusations against the early Christians (See Justin. 
Martyr's Apol 9 1 , 26; Tertullian's ApoL, VIII., IX.) And it has beer* 
repeated against the Jews, from the days of Apion down to the present 
decade. Such a baseless charge could not have gained credence but 
for the traditional understanding that men were wont to pledge each- 
other to a close covenant by mutual blood-drinking. 



It is worthy of note that when the Lord enteis into covenant with 
Abraham by means of a prescribed sacrifice (Gen. 15 : 7-18), it is said 
that the Lord " cut a covenant with Abram " ; but when the Lord calls 
on Abraham to cut a covenant of blood-fnendship, by the rite of cir- 
cumcision (Gen 17: 1-12), the Loid says, for himself, "I will make 
[or I will fix] my covenant between me and thee." In the one case, 
the Hebrew word is karath (HID) "to cut " ; in the other, it is nathan 
( jru ) " to give," or " to fix." This change goes to show that the idea of 
cutting a covenant includes the act of a cutting of a cutting of one's 
person or the cutting of the substitute victim as an integral part of the 
covenant itself; that a covenant may be made, or fixed, without a cutting, 
but that the term " cutting " involves the act of cutting. 

Thus, again, in Jeremiah 34: 18, there is a two-fold refeience to 
covenant-cutting ; where the Lord reproaches his people for their faith- 
lessness to their covenant "And I will give [to destruction] the men 
that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the 
words of the covenant which they made [literally, cut '] befoie me [in 
my sight] when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts 
thereof" In this instance, there is in the Hebiew, a pun, as it were, to 
give added force to the accusation and reproach. The same word ^abhar 
p3JJ) means both " to transgiess " and " to pass over " [or, ' between"], 
so that, freely rendered, the charge here made, is, that they went through 
the covenant when they had gone through the calf; which is another way 
of saying that they cut their duty when they claimed to cut a covenant. 

The correspondence of cutting the victim of sacrifice, and of cutting 
into the flesh of the covenanting parties, in the ceremony of making 
blood-brotheihood, or blood-friendship, is well illustrated in the inter- 
changing of these methods in the primitive customs of Borneo. 1 The 
pig is the more commonly prized victim of sacrifice in Borneo. It 
1 St. John's Life in, Far East, Comp I , 38, 46, 56, 74-76, 115, 117, 185 


seems, indeed, to be there valued only next after a human -victim. In 
some cases, blood-brotherhood is made, m Borneo, by " imbibing each 
other's blood." In other cases, " a pig is brought and placed between 
the two [fnends] who are to be joined in brotherhood. A chief rd- 
dresses an invocation to the gods, and marks with a lighted brand J the 
pig's shoulder. The beast is then killed, and after an exchange of 
jackets, 2 a sword is thrust into the wound, and the two [friends] arc 
marked with the blood of the pig." On one occasion, when two hos- 
tile tnbes came together to make a formal covenant of brotherhood, 
" the ceremony of killing a pig for each tribe '' was the central feature 
of the compact ; as in the case of two Kayans becoming one by inter- 
changing their own blood, actually or by a substitute pig. And it is 
said of the tnbal act of cutting the covenant by cutting the pig, that 
"it is thought more fortunate if the animal be severed in two by 
one stroke of the parang (half sword, half chopper)." In another 
instance, where two tribes entered into a covenant, " a pig was placed 
between the representatives of [the] two tribes ; who, after calling 
down the vengeance of the spirits on those who broke the treaty, 
plunged their spears into the animal [* cutting a covenant ' in that 
way], and then exchanged weapons 2 Drawing their krises, they each 
bit the blade of the other [as if 'drinking the covenant'], 3 and so com- 
pleted the affair." So, again, " if two men who have been at deadly 
feud, meet in a house [where the obligations of hospitality restrain 
them], they refuse to cast their eyes upon each other till a fowl has 
been killed, and the blood sprinkled over them." 

In every case, it is the blood that seals the mutual covenant, and the 
"cutting of the covenant" is that cui<mg which secures the covenant- 
ing, or the inter-uniting, blood. The cutting may be in the flesh of the 
covenanting parties ; or, again it may be in the flesh of the substitute 
victim which is sacrificed. 

l A trace of the burnt branch of the covenant-tree. 
* See page 270, supra.. * See pages g, 154, 



In the Midrash Rabboth (Shemoth, Beth, 92, col. 2) theie is this 
comment by the Rabbis on Exodus 2 : 23 ; " ' And the king of Egypt 
died/ He was smitten with lepiosy. . . . 'And the childien of 
Isiael sighed.' Wheiefore did they sigh ? Because the magicians of 
Egypt said : * There is no healing for thee save by the slaying of the 
little children of the Israelites. Slay them in the morning, and slay them 
in the evening ; and bathe in their blood twice a day.' As soon as the 
children of Israel heard the cruel deciee, they pomed foith gieat sigh- 
ings and waitings." That comment gives a new point, in the rabbinical 
mind, to the first plague, wheieby the waters of the Nile, in which 
royalty bathed (Exod. 2 : 5), were turned into blood, because of the 
bondage of the childien of Israel. 

A survival of the blood-baths of ancient Egypt, as a means of re-vivi- 
fying the death-smitten, would seem to exist in the medical practices of 
the Bechuana tribes of Africa ; as so many of the customs of ancient 
Egypt still survive among the African races (See page 15, supra}. Thus, 
MofFat reports (Missionary Laboztrs, p. 277) a method employed by 
native physicians, of killing a goat '* over the sick person, allowing the 
blood to run down the body." 


Among other Bible indications that the custom of balancing, or 
canceling, a blood account by a payment in money, was well known in 
ancient Palestine, appears the recoid of David's confeience with the 
Gibeomtes, concerning their claim for blood against the house of Saul, 
in 2 Samuel 21 : 1-9. When it was found that the famine in Isiael 
was because of Saul's having taken blood or life unjustly from the 
Gibeonites, David essayed to balance that unsettled account, "And the 
Gibeonites said unto him, It is no matter of silver or gold between us 
and Saul, or his house ; neither is it for us to put any man to death in 


Israel; " which was equivalent to saying : ** Money for blood we will 
not take. Blood for blood we have no power to obtain." Then said 
David, "What ye shall say, that will I do for you.' 7 At this, the 
Gibeomtes demanded, and obtained, the lives of the seven sons of Saul. 
The blood account must be balanced. In this case, as by the Mosaic 
law, it could only be by life for life. 

In some parts of Arabia, if a Muhammadan slays a person of another 
religion, the relatives of the latter are not allowed to insist on blood 
for blood, but must accept an equivalent in money. The claim for the 
spilled blood is lecognized, but a Muhammadan's blood is too precious 
for its payment. (See Wellsted's Travels in Arabia, I., 19.) 

It is much the same in the far West as in the far East, as to this can- 
celing of a blood-debt by blood or by other gifts. Parkman (Jesmts 
in No. Am. 9 pp. Ixi.-lxni. ; 354-360) says of the custom among the 
Hurons and the Iroquois, that in case of bloodshed the chief effort of 
all concerned was to effect a settlement by contributions to the amount 
of the legular tariff rates of a human life. 

Anothei indication that the mission of the goel was to cancel the loss of 
a life rather than to avenge it, is found in the piimitive customs of the 
New World. " Even in so rude a tribe as the Brazilian Topanazes," says 
Fairer (citing Eschwege, in Prim. Man. andCust., p. 164), " a murderer 
of a fellow tribesman would be conducted by his relations to those of the 
deceased, to be by them forthwith strangled and buried [with his forfeited 
blood in him], in satisfaction of their rights ; the two families eating 
togethei foi several days after the event as though for the purpose of 
[or, as in evidence of] reconciliation," not of satisfied revenge. 

Yet more convincing than all, in the line of such proofs that it is resti- 
tution, and not vengeance, that is sought by the pursuit of blood in the 
mission of the goel, is the fact that in various countries, when a man has 
died a natural death, it is the custom to seek blood, or life, from those 
immediately about him ; as if to restore, or to equalize, the family loss. 
Thus, m New South Wales, " when any one of the tribe dies a natural 



death, it is usual to avenge [not to avenge, but to meet] the loss of the 
deceased by taking blood from one or other of his friends," and it is said 
that death sometimes results from this endeavor (Angas's Sav Life, II., 
227) In this fact, there is added light on the almost umveisal custom 
of blood-giving to, or over, the dead. (See, e. g. Elhs's Land of Fetish, 
PP- S9 64; Stanley's The Congo, II, 180-182; Angas's Sav. Life, I, 
98, 331 ; II., 84, 89 f. ; Ellis's Polyn Res , 1 , 527-529; Dodge's Our 
Wild Indians, p 172 f ; First An. Rep. of Bureau of Ethn., pp 109, 
112, 159 f, 164, 183, 190) 


It has already been shown that the blood-stained record of the cove- 
nant of blood, shielded in a leathern case, is proudly woin as an 
armlet or as a necklace by the Oriental who has been fortunate enough 
to become a sharer in such a covenant ; and that there is icason for 
believing that theie are traces of this custom in the necklaces, the 
aimlets, the rings, and the frontlets, winch have been worn as the 
tokens of a sacred covenant, in well-mgh all lands, fiom the caihest 
days of Chaldea and Egypt down to the piesent time. Theie is a con- 
firmation of this idea in the primitive customs of the North Amencan 
Indians, which ought not to be oveilooked. 

The distinctive method by which these Indians weie accustomed to 
confirm and signalize a formal covenant, 01 a tteaty, was the exchange 
of belts of wampum; and that these wampum belts were not meiely 
conventional gifts, but were actual records, tokens, and remindcis, of 
the covenant itself, there is abundant evidence In a careful paper on the 
"Art in Shell of the Ancient Americans," in one of the repoits of the 
Bureau of Ethnology, of the Smithsonian Institution, the wntei J says : 
" One of the most lemaikable customs practiced by the Americans is 
found in the mnemonic use of wampum. ... It does not seem 
probable . . . that a custom so unique and so widespicad could 
l W, H Holmes, in Second Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnol , pp. 240-254. 


have grown up within the historic period, nor is it probable that a 
practice foieign to the genius of tradition-loving laces could have be- 
come so well established and so dear to their hearts in a few genera- 
tions. . . . The mnemonic use of wampum is one which, I 
imagine, might readily develop from the practice of gift giving and the 
exchange of tokens of friendship, such mementoes being preserved for 
future leference as reminders of promises of assistance or protection. 
. . . The wampum records of the Iroquois [and the same is found 
to be true in many other tribes] were geneially in the form of belts [as 
an encircling and binding token of a covenant], the beads being strung 
or woven into patterns formed by the use of different colors." Illustra- 
tions, by the score, of this mnemonic use of the covenant-confirming 
belts, or " necklaces," 1 as they are sometimes called, are given, or are 
referred to, in this interesting article. 

In the narrative of a council held by the " Five Nations," at Onon- 
daga, nearly two hundred years ago, a Seneca sachem is said to have 
presented a proposed treaty between the Wagunhas and the Senecas, 
with the words : ** We come to join the two bodies into one " ; and he 
evidenced his good faith in this endeavor, by the presentation of the 
mnemonic belts of wampum. " The belts were accepted by the Five 
Nations, and their acceptance was a ratification of the treaty." 2 Lafi- 
tau, writing of the Canadian Indians, in the early years of the eighteenth 
century, says : " They do not believe that any transaction can be con- 
cluded without these belts ; " and he mentions, that according to Indian 
custom these belts were to be exchanged in covenant making ; " that is 
to say, for one belt [received] one must give another [belt]." s And a 
historian of the Moravian Missions says : " Everything of moment trans- 
acted at solemn councils, either between the Indians themselves, or with 
Europeans, is ratified and made valid by strings and belts of wam- 

1 W. H. Holmes, m Second Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnol , p. 243. 

* Events in Indian History, p. 143 , cited Ibid. t p 243 f 
*Moeu.r$ des Stowages Ameriq , torn II., pp. 502-507; cited Ibid., p 243 ff, 


pum " * "The strings, 9 ' according to Lafitau, "are used for affaiis of 
little consequence, or as a preparation foi other moie considerable pies- 
ents " ; but the binding "belts " weie as the bond of the covenant itself. 

These covenant belts often bore, interwoven with difteient coloied 
wampum beads, symbolic figuies , such as two hands clasped m friend- 
ship, or two figures with hands joined. As the belts commonly signal- 
ized tribal covenants, they weie not woin by a single individual, but 
were sacredly guarded in some tribal depository ; yet their form and 
their designation indicate the origin of their idea. 

There is still pieseived, in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 
Ine wampum belt which is supposed to have sealed the txeaty of peace 
and friendship between William Penn and the Indians. It contains 
two figuies, wrought in daik coloied beads, representing " an Indian 
grasping with the hand of fiiendship the hand of a man evidently 
intended to be icpiesented in the Euiopean costume, wearing a hat." 2 

Stll more explicit in its symbolism is the royal belt of the pumitive 
kings of Tahiti. Throughout Polynesia, red feathers, which had been 
inclosed in a hollow image of a god, were considered not only as em- 
blematic of the deities, but as actually representing them in their person- 
ality (Elhs's Polyn J?es. t L, 79, 211, 314, 316; II., 204; Tour thrrf 
Hawaii, p 121). " The inauguration ceremony [of the Tahitian king], 
answering to coronation among other nations, consisted in girding the 
king with the maro ura, or sacred girdle of red feathers; which not 
only raised him to the highest earthly station, but identified him with 
their gods [as by oneness of blood]. The maro, or girdle, was made 
with the beaten fibres of the ava; with these a number of ura^ red 
feathers, taken from the images of their deities [where they had, seem- 
in gly> represented the blood, or the life, of the image], were interwoven; 
... the feathers [as the blood] being supposed to retain all the 

1 Loskiel's Missions of the United Brethren, Trans by La Trobe, Bk. I., p, 
26 ; cited in Ibid. t p. 245 f. 

n p 253 f. 


dreadful attributes of vengeance which the idols possessed, and with 
which it was designed to endow the king " In lieu of the king's own 
blood, in this symbolic ceremony of inter-union, a human victim was 
sacrificed, for the " fastening on of the sacred maro " " Sometimes a 
human victim was offered for every fresh piece added to the girdle [blood 
for blood, between the king and the god]; . . . and the girdle 
was considered as consecrated by the blood of those victims " The chief 
priest of the god Oro formally invested the king with this " sacred girdle, 
which, the [blood-representing] feathers from the idol being interwoven 
in it, was supposed to impart to the king a power equal to that possessed 
by Oro." After this, the king was supposed to be a sharer of the divine 
nature of Oro, with whom he had entered into a covenant of blood- 
union (Ellis's Pofyn. J?es., II., 354-360). 

Thus it seems that a band, as a bond, of a sacred covenant, is treasured 
reverently in the New World ; as a similar token, of one kind or an- 
other, was treasured, for the same reason, in the Old World. And it is in 
view of these recognized facts that one school of criticism assumes that 
the Jewish phylacteries were a survival of the superstitious idea of a 
pagan amulet. Yet, on the other hand, another school of criticism is 
equally confident in ascribing the idea of the pagan amulet itself to a 
perversion of that common primitive idea of the binding bond of & 
sacred covenant which shows itself in the blood-fnendship record of 
Syria, in the red covenant-cord of China and India, in the divine - 
human covenant token of ancient Egypt, in the red-feather belt of divine- 
royal union in the Pacific Islands, in the wampum belt of America, and 
in the evolved wedding-covenant ring, or amulet, of a large portion of 
the civilized world. Here is where a difference in processes of reasoning 
is inevitable, according to the different hypotheses as to primitive man's 
original state. The one school assumes that man started with no well- 
defined religious ideas, and gradually acquired them , the other school 
assumes that man originally had a revelation from God, and gradually 
lost its distinct features through sinning. 



Yet another indication that the binding circlet of the covenant-token 
stands, among primitive peoples, as also among cultivated ones, as the 
repiesentative, or proof, of this very covenant itself, is found in a method 
of divorce prevailing among the Balau Dayaks, of Bomeo. It has 
already been shown (page 73, supra) that a ring of blood is a binding 
symbol in the marriage covenant in some parts of Borneo. It seems, also, 
that when a divorce has been agieed on by a Balau couple, "it is neces- 
saiy for the offended husband to send a nng to his wife, before the 
marriage can be consideied as finally dissolved ; without which, should 
they marry again, they would be liable to be punished for infidelity." l 
This practice seems to have giown out of the old custom alieady 
referred to (page 73 f ), of the biide giving to the bridegroom a blood- 
representing nng in the maniage cup. Until that symbolic ring is ie- 
turned to her by the bridegroom, it lemains as the proof of her cove- 
nant with him. 

This connection of the encircling ring with the heait's blood is of very 
ancient origin, and of general, if not of univeisal, application. Wilkinson 
(Anc. Egypt., Ill , 420) cites Maciobius as saying, that " those Egyptian 
priests who were called prophets, when engaged in the temple near the 
altais of the gods, moistened [anointed] the ling-finger of the left hand 
(which was that next to the smallest) with various sweet ointments, in 
the belief that a certain nerve communicated with it from the heait." 
He also says, that among the Egyptian women, many finger rings weie 
worn, and that "the left was considered the hand peculiaily privileged 
to wear these ornaments; and it is lemarkable that its third finger [next 
to the little fingei] was considered by them, as by v&,par excellence^ 
nng finger; though there is no evidence [to his knowledge] of its having 
been so honoied at the marriage ceremony." Birch adds (Ibid., II., 
340) that " it is very difficult to distinguish between the ring worn for 
mere ornament, and the signet [standing for the weaier's very life] em- 
ployed to seal [and to sign] epistles and other things." The evidence 
1 St John's Life in the Far East, 1 , 67 


is, in fact, ample, that the ring, m ancient Egypt, as elsewhere, was not 
a mere ornament, nor yet a superstitious amulet, but represented one's 
heart, or one's life, as a symbol and pledge of personal fidelity. 

In South Australia, the nte of circumcision is one of the steps by 
wluch a lad enters into the sphere of matihood. This involves his cove- 
nanting with his new god-father, and with his new fellows in the sphere 
of his entering. In this ceremony, the very nng of flesh itself is pkced 
" on the third finger of the boy's left hand " (Angas's Sav. Life, I., 99). 
What clearer indication than this is needed, that the finger-ring is a 
vestige of the primitive blood-covenant token ? 

An instance of the use of a laige ring, or bracelet, encircling the two 
hands of persons joining in the marriage covenant, is reported to me from 
the Noith of Ireland, in the piesent century. It was in the county Don- 
egal. The Roman Catholic pnest was a Fiench exile. In marrying the 
people of the poorer class, who could not afford to purchase a ring, he 
" would take the large ring from his old-fashioned double-cased watch, 
and hold it on the hands, or the thumbs, of the contracting parties, 
while he blessed their union." 

Yet another illustration of the universal symbolism of the nng, as a 
token of sacred covenant, is its common use as a pledge of friendship, 
even unto death. The ring given by Queen Elizabeth to the unfortunate 
Earl of Essex is an instance in point. Had that covenant-token reached 
her, her covenant promises would have been redeemed 

There is an old Scottish ballad, " Hynd Horn," perhaps having a 
common origin with the Bohemian lay on which Scott based The 
Noble Moiinger, 1 which brings out the idea of a covenant-ring having 
the power to indicate to its wearer the fidelity of its giver ; correspond- 
ing with the popular belief to that effect, suggested by Bacon. 2 Hynd 
Horn has won the heart of the king's daughter, and the king sends 
him over the sea, as a means of bieaking up the match. As he sets 
out Hynd Horn carries with him a symbol of his lady-love's troth. 

l S-e page 73, supra. - Sec page 75, supra 


" O his love gave him a gay gold ring, 

With a hey lillelu, and a how lo Ian , 
With three shining diamonds set therein, 

And the birk and the broom blooms bonnie 
" As long as these diamonds keep their hue, 

With a hey lillelu, and a how lo Ian, 
Ye'll know that I'm a lover true, 

And the birk and the broom blooms bonnie 
" But when your ring turns pale and wan, 

With a hey lillelu, and a how lo Ian, 
Then I'm in love with another man, 
And the birk and the broom blooms bonnie " 1 

Seven years went by, and then the img-gems giew " pale and wan." 
Hynd Hoin hastened back, enteied the wedding-hall disguised as a 
beggar, sent the covenant-ring to the biide m a glass of wine ; and the 
sequel was the same as in The Noble Moimger. 

At a Brahman wedding, in India, described by Miss II, G, Bnttan (in 
"The Missionary Link," for October, 1864; cited in Women of the 
Orient, pp 176-179) a silver dish, filled with water, (probably with water 
colored with saffron, or with turmeric, according to the common custom in 
India,) " also containing a very handsome ruby ring, and a thin iron bi ace- 
let," was set before the fathei of the bnde, during the mainage ceiemony. 
At the covenanting of the young couple, "the ling was given to the 
groom; the bracelet to the bride; then some of the [blood-colored *] 
water was sprinkled on them [See page 194, supra], and some floweis 
[were] thrown at them." Here seem to be combined the symbolisms 
of the ring, the bracelet, and the blood, in a sacred covenanting. 


From the very fact that so little attention has been given to the pnmi- 
tive rite of blood-covenanting, in the studies of modem scholars, theic' 
is reason for supposing that the rite itself has veiy often been unnoticed 

i AHmgham's Ballad Book, p 6 f . 


by tiavelersand missionaries in regions where it was practiced almost 
undei their eyes. Indeed, there is proof of this to be obtained, by 
compaung the facts recorded in this volume with the writings of visitors 
to the lands here leported from. Hence it is fair to infer that more or 
less of the brotherhoods or friendships noted among primitive peoples, 
without any description of the methods of their consummating, aie 
either directly based on the rite of blood-covenanting, or are outgrowths 
and vaiiations of that rite ; as, for example, in Borneo, blood-tasting is 
sometimes deemed essential to the rite, and again it is omitted. It may 
be well, therefore, to look at some of the hints of blood-union among 
primitive peoples, in relationships and in customs where not all the facts 
and piocesses involved aie known to us. 

Peculiarly is it true, that wheiever we find the idea of an absolute 
merging of two natuies into one, or of an inter-union or an inter-chang- 
ing of two peisonalities in loving lelation, there is reason for suspecting 
a connection with the primitive rite of inter-union through a common 
blood flow. And there aie illustrations of this idea in the Old World 
and in the New, all along the ages. 

It has already been mentioned (page 109, supra) that, in India, the 
possibility of an intei-union of two natures, and of their inter-merging 
into one, is recognized in the statement that " the heait of Vishnu is 
Siva, and the heait of Siva is Vishnu " ; and it is a well-known philo- 
sophical fact that man must have an actual basis of human experience 
for the symbolic language with which he illustrates the nature and 
chaiacteristics of Deity. 

In the most ancient portion of the ancient Egyptian Book of the 
Dead, 1 there is a description of the inter-union of Osiris and Ra, not 
unlike that above quoted concerning Siva and Vishnoo. It says that 
" O&iiis came to Tattu (Mendes) and found the soul of Ra there; each 
embraced the other, and became as one soul in two souls " 2 as one 
life in two lives ; or, as it would be phrased concerning two human 

i Todtenbuch> xvu , 43, 43. * Renouf s The Relig ofAnc. gypt } p 107. 



beings united in blood-friendship, " one soul in two bodies " ; a common 
life in two personalities. Again it is said in an Egyptian sacied text, 
" Ra is the soul of Osiris, and Osiris is the soul of Ra " 3 

An exchange of names, as if in exchange of peisonalities, in con- 
nection with a covenant of friendship, is a custom in widely diveise 
countries; and this custom seems to have grown out of the idea 
of an inter-union of natuies by an inter-union of blood, even if it 
be not actually an accompaniment of that nte in eveiy instance It 
is common in the Society Islands, 2 as an element in the adoption of 
a "tayo," or a personal friend and companion (See page 56, supra). 
It is to be found in various South Sea islands, and on the American 

Among the Araucanians, of South America, the custom of making 
brothers, or brother-friends, is called Lacu. It includes the killing of a 
lamb and dividing it " cutting " it between the two covenanting 
parties ; and each party must eat his half of the lamb either by him- 
self or by such assistance ab he chooses to call in. None of it must be 
left uneaten. Gifts also pass between the parties ; and the two fnends 
exchange names. " The giving [the exchanging] of a name [with this 
people] establishes between the namesakes a species of iclationship 
which is considered almost as sacred as that of blood, and obliges then? 
to render to each other certain services, and that consideration which 
natuially belongs to relatives " 8 

It is related of Tolo, a chief of the Shastika Indians, on the Pacific 
coast, that when he made a treaty with Col. McKee, an American 
soldier, in 1852, for the cession of certain tribal rights, he was anxious 
for some ceremony of brotherhood that should give binding sacredness 
to the mutual covenant. After some paileying, he proposed the foimrl 
exchange of names, and this was agreed to. Thenceforward he desiied 

iRenouf's The Relig ofAnc. Egyft, p. 107, 

M/ZJJ Voyage to So Pact/ Ocean, p 65 
* See E. R. Smith's The Araucamans, p a6a 


to be known as " McKee." The Amencan colonel was now " Tolo." 
But after a while the Indian found that, as in too many other instances, 
the terms of the treaty were not adhered to by the authorities making 
it. Then he discarded his new name, " McKee/' and refused to le- 
sume his foimer name, " Tolo." He would not answer to either, and 
to the day of his death he insisted that his name, his identity, was 
" lost." 1 There is a profound sentiment underneath such a couise, and 
such a custom, as that. 

So fully is the identity of one's name and one's life recognized by 
primitive peoples, that to call on the name of a dead person is generally 
supposed to summon the spirit of that person to the caller's service. 
Hence, among the American Indians, if one calls the dead by name, he 
must answer to the dead man's goel. He must surrender his own blood, 
or pay blood-money, in restitution of the life of the dead taken by 
him. (First An. Rep. of Bureau of Ethnol ', p. 200.) 

Even Heibert Spencer sees the correspondence of the blood-covenant 
and the exchange of names. He says : " By absorbing each other's 
blood, men are supposed to establish actual community of nature. 
Similarly with the ceremony of exchanging names. . . . This, 
which is a widely-diffused practice, arises fiom the belief that the name 
is vitally connected with its owner. ... To exchange names, 
therefoie, is to establish some participation in one another's being." * 
Hence, as we may suppose, came the well-nigh univeisal Oriental prac- 
tice of inter-weaving the name of one's Deity with one's name, as a 
symbolic evidence of one's covenant-union with the Deity. The blood- 
covenant, or the blood-union, idea is at the bottom of this. 

Another custom, having a peculiar bearing upon this thought of a 
new name, or a new identity, through new blood, is the rite of initia- 
tion into manhood, by the native Australians. During childhood the 
Australian boys are under the care of their motheis, and they bear 

1 Power's Tribes of California/' in Contnb to No Am Ethnol , HI., 247 
* Principles of Sociology, IT., 21. 


names which designate the place and circumstances of their birth. But 
when the time comes for them to put away childish things, 1 they aie 
subjected to a series of seveie and painful tests, to prove their poweis 
of physical and mental enduiance, piepaiatory to then leception of a 
new name, as indicative of a new life. A rite resembling circumcision 
is one step in their progress. Dunng these ceremonies, theie is se- 
lected for each lad a sponsor (or godfathei) who is a icpresentative of 
that higher life into which the lad seeks an entrance. One of the latest 
steps in the long seiies of ceiemonies, is the choosing and confemng > 
by the sponsor, of the lad's new name, which he is to letam thence- 
forward duung his life. With a stone-knife, the sponsor opens a vein 
in his own aim, and causes the lad to dunk his warm-flowing blood. 
After this, the lad diops forwaid on his hands and knees, and the 
sponsor's blood is permitted to foim a pool on his back, and to coagu- 
late theie. Then the sponsor cuts, with his stone-knife, bioad gashes 
in the lad's back, and pulls open the gaping wounds with the fingers. 
The scars of these gashes remain as permanent signs of the covenant 
ceremony. 2 And encircling tokens of the covenant 3 aie bound aiound 
the neck, each arm, and the waist, of the young man ; who is now 
icckoned a new creatiue 4 in the life repiesented by that godfathei, who 
has given him his new name, and has imparted to him of his blood & 
That the transfusion of blood in this ceremony is the making of a 
covenant between the youth and his sponsor, and not the giving him 
blood m vivificatiou, is indicated in another form of the same rite of 
manhood-initiation, as practised in New South Wales. There, the youth is 
seated upon the shoulders of his sponsor, while one of his teeth ib knocked 
out. The blood that flows from the boy's lacerated gum in this ceremony 
is not wiped away, but is suffered to run down upon his breast, and thence 
upon the head of his sponsor, whose name he takes. This blood, which 
secures, by its absorption, a common life between the two, who have now 

1 1 Cor. 13 ii. 2 See note at page 218, supra * See pages 63-77, -supra. 
4 2 Cor. 5 . 17; Eph 4 . 24 ; Col 3 : 9, 10. 5 Angas's Savage Life, I , 114-116. 


a common name, is permitted to dry upon the head of the man and upon 
the breast of the boy, and to remain there untouched for several days. 

In this New South Wales ceremonial, there is another feature, which 
seems to suggest that remarkable connection of life with a stone, which 
has been already referred to (page 307, supra) ; and yet again to suggest 
the giving of a new name as the token of a new life. A white stone, or 
a quartz crystal, called mundie^ is given to each novitiate in manhood, 
at the fame he receives his new name. This stone is counted a gift 
from deity, and is held peculiarly sacred. A test of the young man's 
moral stamina is made by the old men's trying, by all sorts of persuasion, 
to induce him to surrender this possession, when first he has received it. 
This accompaniment of a new name " is worn concealed in the hah-, tied 
up in a packet, and is never shown to the women, who are forbidden to 
look at it under pain of death." The youths receiving and retaining 
these white stones, with then* new names, are termed " Kebarrak, 
from &eZ>a t a rock, or stone." (Angas's Savage Life, II., 221.) That 
the idea of a sacred covenant, a covenant of brotherhood and friendship, 
is underneath these ceremonies, is indicated by the fact, that when the 
rites of Kebarrah are celebrated, even "hostile tribes meet in peace; all 
animosity between them being laid aside during the performance of these 
ceremonies." " To him that overcometh, [saith the Spirit,] ... I will 
give him a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written, which no 
one knoweth but he that receiveth it" (Rev. 2 : 17). The Rabbis recom- 
mend the giving secretly of a new name, as a means of new life, to him 
who is in danger of dying. (See Seph. Hakhkhay., p. 37 f. and note.) 

Again, in a form of marriage ceremony in Tahiti, there is a hint of 
this universal idea of inter-union by blood. An observer of this cere- 
mony, in describing it says: "The female relatives cut their faces 
and brows l with the instrument set with shark's teeth, 2 received the 
flowing blood on a piece of native cloth, and deposited the cloth* 

i.See references to drawing blood from the forehead, at page 86 ff , supra. 

2 See pages 85-88, supra. 

2 9 


spiinkled with the mingled blood of the mothers of the mained pan, at 
the feet of the bride. By the latter parts of the ceiemony, any infeiionty 
of rank that might have existed was removed, and they weie [now] 
considered as equal. The two families, also, to which they respectively 
belonged, were ever afterwards regarded as one [through this new blood- 
union]. 1 ' 1 Had these motheis mingled and interchanged their own 
blood before the births of their children, the children as children of 
a common blood would have been debarred fiom marriage ; but now 
that the two children were covenanting to be one, their motheis might 
interchange their blood, that the young couple might have an absolute 
equality of family nature. 

There are frequent references by travelers to the rite of biotherhood, 
or of close friendship, in one pait of the world or another, with or with- 
out a description of its methods. Thus of one of the tribes in Central 
Africa it is said : " The Wanyamuezi have a way of making brother- 
hood, similar to that which has already been described, except that 
instead of drinking each other's blood, the newly made brotheis mix it 
[their blood] with butter on a leaf, and exchange leaves. The buttei is 
then rubbed into the incisions, so that it acts as a healing ointment at 
the same time that blood is exchanged. 2 The ceremony is concluded 
by tearing the leaves to pieces and showering the fragments on the heads 
of the brothers." 8 The Australians, again, are said to have "the custom 
of making * Kotaiga? or brotherhood, with strangeis. When Europeans 
visit their districts, and behave as they ought to do, the natives generally 
unite themselves in bonds of fellowship with the strangeis; each select- 
ing one of them as his Kotaiga. The new relations are then considered 
as having mutual responsibilities, each being bound to forward the wel- 
fare of the other." * Once more, in Feejee, two warriors sometimes bind 
themselves to each other by a foimal ceremony, and although its details 

1 Ellis's Polynesian Researches, II , 569 f 8 See Prov 117 9 

8 Cited from Capt Grant's description , in Wood's Unciv Races, I , 440, 
d., II., 81. 


are not described, a missionary writer says of it : " The manner in which 
they do this is singular, and wears the appearance of a marriage con- 
tract ; and the two men entering into it are spoken of as man and wife, 
to indicate the closeness of their military union. By this mutual bond, 
the two men pledge themselves to oneness of purpose and effort, to stand 
by each other in every danger, defending each other to the death, and 
if needful to die together." * 

With the American Indians, there are various traces of the blood- 
biotherhood idea. Says Captain Claik, in his work on the Indian Sign 
Language: "Among many tribes there aie brothers by adoption, 
and the tie seems to be held about as sacredly as though created by 
natui e.' ' 2 Stephen Powell, writing of the Pacific Coast Indians, gives this 
tie of brotherhood-adoption yet more prominence, than does Clark. He 
says : " There is an interesting institution found among the Wyandots, 
as among some other of our North American tribes, namely, that of 
fellowship. Two young men agree to be perpetual Mends to each other, 
or more than brothers. Each reveals to the other the secrets of his life, 
and counsels with him on matters of importance, and defends him from 
wrong and violence, and at his death is chief mourner." 8 This cer- 
tainly suggests the relation of blood-brotherhood; whether blood be 
intermingled in the consummation of the rite, or not. 

Colonel Dodge tells of a ceremony of Indian-brotherhood, which in- 
cludes a bloody nte, worthy of notice in this connection. He says : 
*' A strong flavor of religious superstition attaches to a scalp, and many 
solemn contracts and binding obligations can only be made over or by 
means of a scalp ; " for is it not the repiesentative of a life ? In illus- 
tration of this, he gives an incident which followed an Indian battle, in 
which the Pawnees had borne a part with the whites against the 
Northern Cheyennes. Colonel Bodge was sitting in his tent, when *' the 

i Williams and Calvert's Fgi andFijians, p 35. 

a Indian Sign Language t s. v. " Brother " 
* Contributions to No. Am, Ethnology, Vol. III., p. 68. 



acting head-chief of the Pawnees stalked in gravely, and without r 
word." The Colonel continues : " We had long been friends, and ha<J 
on several occasions been in tight places together. He sat down on thd 
side of my bed, looked at me kindly, but solemnly, and began in a lovf 
tone to mutter in his own language, half chant, half recitative. Know- 
ing that he was making * medicine ' [that he was engaged in a lehgious 
exercise] of some kind, I looked on without comment. Aftei some 
moments, he stood eiect, and stretched out his hand to me, I gave him 
my hand. He pulled me into a standing position, embiaced me, passed 
liis hands lightly over my head, face, arms, body, and legs to my feet, 
muttering all the while ; embraced me again, then turned his back upon 
me, and with his face toward heaven, appealed to make adoration. He 
then turned to embrace and manipulate me again. After some five 
minutes of this performance, he drew fiom his wallet u package, and 
unrolling it, disclosed a freshly taken [and therefoie still bloody] scalp 
of an Indian, Touching me with this [blood-vehicle] in vaiious places 
and ways, he finally drew out his knife, [and * cutting the covenant ' in 
this way, he] divided the scalp caiefully along the pait [the seam] of 
the hair, and handing me one half, embraced me again, ki&smg me on 
the foiehead. * Now,' said he in English, * you aae my biolher.' He 
subsequently informed me that this ceremony could not have been per- 
formed without this scalp." l 

Here seems to be an illustration of cutting the covenant of blood- 
brotherhood, by sharing the life of a substitute human victim. It is 
much the same in the wild West as in the primitive East. 

So simple a matter as the clasping of hands in token of covenant 
fidelity, is explicable, in its universality, only as a vestige of the primitive 
custom of joining pierced hands in the covenant of blood-friendship. 
Hand-clasping is not, by any means, a universal, nor is it even the com- 
monest, mode of friendly and fraternal salutation among primitive peoples. 
Prostrations, embracings, kissings, nose-rubbings, slappings of one's own 

l Dodge's Ottr Wild Indians, page 514 f. 


body, jumpings up and down, the snapping of one's fingers, the blowing 
of one's breath, and even the rolling upon one's back, are all among the 
many methods of primitive man's salutations and obeisances (See, e. g., 
Spencer's Principles of Sociology, II., 16-19). But, even where hand 
clasping is unknown in salutation, it is recognized as a symbol of the 
closest friendship. Thus, for example, among tnbes of North American 
Indians where nose-rubbing is the mode of salutation, there is, in their 
widely diffused sign language, the sign of clasped, or inter-locked, hands, 
as indicative of friendship and union. (First An. Rep. of Bureau of 
Ethnol, pp. 385 f , 521, 534 f.) So again, similarly, in Australia (Ibid., 
citation from Smith's Aborigines of Victoria, II., 308). In the Society 
Islands, the clasping of hands marks the marriage union, and marks a 
loving union between two brothers in arms ; although it has no place in 
ordinary greetings (Elhs's Polyn. Res., II., II., II, 492, 569). And so, 
again, in other primitive lands. 

There seems, indeed, to be a gleam of this thought in Job 17 : 3 : 

" Give now a pledge, be surety for me with thyself, 
Who is there that will strike hands with me ? " 

The Hebrew word/^'^ (JJP.H) 1 here translated "strike," has also the 
meaning "to pierce " (Judg. 4: 21) and "to blow through," or "to drive 
through " (Num. 10 : 3) ; and Job's question might be freely rendered : 
Who is there that will pierce [or that will clasp pierced] hands with me, 
in blood-friendship ? Thus, suretyship grew out of blood-covenanting. 
Again, in Zechariah 13 : 6, where the prophet foretells the moral 
reformation of Judah, there is a seeming reference to the pierced hands 
of blood-friendship. When one is suspected of being a professional 
prophet, by certain marks of cuttings between his hands, he declares that 
these are marks of his blood-covenant with his friends. " And one shall 
say unto him, What are these wounds [these cuttings] between thine 
hands ? Then he shall answer, [They are] these [cuttings] with which 

l Is there any correspondence between this word, tag'a, and the Hindoo word 
ilka (the blood-mark on the Rajput chief), referred to at page 137, supra 9 



I was wounded [or stricken, or pierced] in the house of my friends [m 
the covenant of friendship]." If, indeed, the translation of the Revisers, 
" between thine arms," were justified, the cuttings would still seem to be 
the cuttings of the blood-covenant (See pages 13, 45, supra), 

It is a noteworthy fact, that among the Jews in Tunis, near the old 
Phoenician settlement of Carthage, the sign of a bleeding hand is still 
an honored and a sacred symbol, as if in recognition of the covenant- 
bond of then- brotherhood and friendship. " What struck me most in all 
the houses," says a traveler (Chevalier de Hesse-Wartegg) among these 
Jews, " was the impression of an open bleeding hand, on every wall 
of each floor. However white the walls, this repulsive [yet suggestive] 
sign was to be seen everywhere." 

How many tunes, in the New Testament epistles, does the idea show 
itself, of an inter-union of lives, between Christ and his disciples, and be- 
tween these disciples and each other. " We, who are many, are one 
body in Christ, and severally members one of another" (Rom. 12 : 5). 
"We are members of his body " (Eph, 5 : 30). We are members one 
of another" (Eph. 4: 25). "Know ye not that your bodies are mem- 
bers of Christ?" (i Cor. 6: 15). "Ye are the body of Christ, and 
severally [are] members thereof" (i Cor. 12 : 27). 

It is in this truth of truths, concerning the possibility of an inter-union 
of the human life with the divine, through a common inter-bloodflow, 
that there is found a satisfying of the noblest heart yearnings of primitive 
man everywhere, and of the uttermost spiritual longings of the most ad- 
vanced Christian believer, in the highest grade of intellectual and moral 
enlightenment. No attainment of evolution, or of development, has brought 
man's latest soul-cry beyond the intimations of his earliest soul-outrcaching. 

" Take, dearest Lord, this crushed and bleeding heart, 
And lay it in thine hand, thy piercfid hand ; 
That thine atoning blood may mix with mine, 
Till land my Beloved are all tnte " 



THE reception accorded to the first edition of this work was unex- 
pectedly gratifying. Both the freshness and the importance of its field 
of research were cordially recognized by biblical scholars on both sides 
of the water; and a readiness to accept more or less of the main 
outline of its hypothesis of symbolisms in their application to biblical 
theology, was shown by exegetes and theologians to an extent quite 
unanticipated. Of course, there have been questionings of its positions, 
at one point or another ; and it is in view of some of the more prominent 
criticisms that a few supplemental facts are now given in addition to 
fresh material on the general subject of the volume. 

Perhaps the most important exceptions taken to the proffered proofs 
of the linkmgs of the primitive blood-covenant with the sacrifices of the 
Old Testament, and of the New, are: (l) " That there is a wide step 
between a union made by the inter-transfusion of blood, and the union 
made by substitute blood, whether sprinkled on both parties, as at Sinai, 
or poured in the sacrifice of a victim whose flesh is eaten as a symbol of 
sharing the life and the nourishment of Deity ; " (2) That " the covenant 
union in sacrifice was represented by eating the flesh of the victim, not 
by sprinkling the blood ; " (3) " That in the heathen world there is no 
satisfactory evidence that the desire to participate in the divine nature lay 
at the basis of animal sacrifice " l To the meeting of these exceptions a 
portion of this supplementary matter is addressed. 

1 These three points of exception are taken by three prominent members of the 
American Company of Old Testament Revisers, and therefore are worthy of spe- 
cial attention. 




It would appear that the more primitive form of blood-covenanting is 
by the intermingling, or the inter-drmking, of the blood of the two 
parties making the covenant. It would also appear that time and 
circumstances have, in many cases, so modified this primitive mode, as 
to admit of the use of substitute blood as the means of inter-union ; and 
of a mutual b\QQ&-anotnting or \tob&-sprinkhng as a symbolic if not 
indeed a realistic equivalent of \&QQ&-mmgling. Illustrations of this 
gradation, all the way along, have been given m the preceding pages ; T 
but if proof at any point be still counted lacking, there is ample material 
for its supply. 

For example, in portions of Madagascar the same people solemnize 
the rite of blood-covenanting, at one time by drinking the mingled blood 
of the two parties to the covenant, and at another time by the two parties 
drinking in common the fresh blood of a substitute animal ; the compact 
and the bond of union being counted the same, whether wrought by 
substitute or by personal blood. Of this fact, the Rev. James Sibree, Jr., 
of the London Missionary Society, an exceptionally careful and scholarly 
observer, bears abundant testimony. 2 Ordinarily ** the ceremony consists 
in taking a small portion of blood from the breast or side," which "is 
mixed with other ingredients," the mixture being " stirred up with a 
spear-point, and then a small portion swallowed by each of the contracting 
parties." The relation thus formed is termed by the Malagasy Fdto-dra? 
or "bound by blood," and Mr. Sibee designates it "Brotherhood by 
Blood Covenant." Partaking of each other's, blood, he says, tt they 
thus become of one blood." But in some cases, as he illustrates by the 
record of " the French traveler, M. Grandidier," who *< became a brother 

1 Compare the accounts of the rite in China, in India, in Borneo, and among the 
American Indians, at pp 53, 137 f., 154, 333, 339, etc. 

3 See Sibree's The Great African Island^ pp. 233-336. 

3 This seems to be the word which Ellis (Hist, of Mad., I , 187, cited at page 44 
sujra) mistook for Fatrida or " Dead Blood " 


by blood with Zome'na, a chief of the Tanosy, in the southwest of Mada- 
gascar,'* the unifying blood is from a substitute animal. " In this case 
[of Grandidier and Zome" na] the blood was not taken from the contracting 
parties, but from an ox sacrificed for the purpose." The rite, as 
described by M. Grandidier, 1 was similar to that described by Ellis, in 
his History of Madagascar, 2 and it included the drinking by Grandidier 
and ZomSna of the blood of the substitute ox. 

It is to be borne in mind that among the Malagasy, as among the 
Aryans, and the proto-Semites, the ox has a semi-sacred character, and 
is looked upon as in a peculiar sense belonging to or representing Deity. 3 
Hence, for the two covenanting parties to partake together of the blood, 
which is the life, of a sacred ox, is to bring them into a common higher 
life through their sharing a new and a diviner nature. 

Again, in a work on the family ties in Early Arabia, by Pro- 
fessor W. Robertson Smith, issued a little later than the first edition 
of The Blood Covenant, there is evidence of a corresponding use of 
substitute blood as a means of inter-union of life among the Semites * 
Showing that the closest and most sacred of alliances in Arabia were 
based on the idea of "unity of blood," Professor Smith says that a 
primitive " covenant in which two groups promised to stand by each 
other to the death (ta'&cactti 'ala 'l-maut)> that is, took upon them the 
duties of common blood-feud (Ibn ffisk&m, I., 125), was originally 
accompanied by a sacramental ceremony, the meaning of which was that 
the parties commingled then- blood, ... A covenant of alliance 
and protection was based upon an oath. Such an oath was necessarily 
a religious act; it is called cas&ma (Dvw. Hodh., Ixxxvii, cxxviii), a 
word which almost certainly implies that there was a reference to the 
god at the sanctuary before the alliance was sealed, and that he was made 

1 In Bull, de la. Soc de Geog > Fev. 1872, p. 144: cited in Sibree's The Great 
African Island, p 223 f 

a Cited at pp. 44-48, sufra * See Sibree's The Great Afr. Island, pp. 371-274. 
* Kinshty and Marriage in Early Arabia., pp 47-50 


a party to the act. ... At Mecca, within historical times, such a 
life and death covenant was formed between the group of clans subse- 
quently known as * blood-lickers ' (la *acat al-dam)}- The form of the 
oath was that each party dipped their hands in a pan of blood and tasted 
the contents." 

He refers to certain other forms of covenanting at Mekkeh, as " by tak- 
ing zemzem water [water taken from the sacred well] and washing the 
corners of the Ka'ba [the holy shrine] with it, after which it was drunk 
by the [covenanting] parties ; " and, again, as by two parties " dipping 
their hands m a pan of perfume or unguent, and then wiping them on 
the Ka'ba, whereby the god himself became a party to the compact" ; 
and of these foims he says : " All these covenants are Meccan and were 
made about the same period, so that it is hardly credible that there was 
any fundamental difference in the praxis. We must rather hold that 
they are all types of one and the same rite, imperfectly related and 
probably softened by the nanator. The form in which blood is used is 
plainly the more primitive or the more exactly related, but the account 
of it must be filled up by the addition of the feature that the blood was 
also applied to the sacred stones or fetishes at the coiners of the Ka'ba. 
And now we can connect the rite with that described in Herodotus iii. 
8, where the contracting parties draw each other's blood and smear it 
on seven stones set up in the midst. 2 Comparing this with the later rite 
we see that they are really one, and that Herodotus has got the thing in its 
earliest form, but has omitted one trait necessary to the understanding 
of the symbolism, and preserved in the Meccan tradition. The later 
Arabs had substituted the blood of a victim [a beast] for human blood, 
but they retained a feature which Herodotus had missed : they licked 
the blood as well as smeared it on the sacied stones. 8 Originally there- 
fore the ceremony was that known in so many parts of the world, in 

1 See p. IT, sujra.. * Cited at p, 6a f., supra, 

8 Elsewhere Herodotus (IV , 70) describes the method of covenanting among the 
Scythians, by the drinking of each other's blood. See p. 61 f., supra 


which the contracting parties became one by actually drinking or tasting 
one another's blood. The seven stones in Herodotus axe of course 
sacred stones, the Arabic ans&b, Hebrew massSboth, which, like the sa- 
cred stones at the Ka'ba were originally Baetylia, Bethels or god boxes. 
So we find in Tdj\ Hi. 560, a verse of Rashed ibn RamSd of the tnbe 
of 'Anaza, I swear by the flowing blood round 'Aud, and by the sacred 
stones which we left beside So'air.' So'air is the god of the 'Anaza 
( Yae&t lii. 94) and 'Aud [is the god] of their allies and near kinsmen 
Bakr-Wail (Bakri p. 55). We see then that two groups might make 
themselves of one blood by a process of which the essence was that 
they commingled their blood [or a substitute therefor], at the same time 
applying the blood to the god or fetish so as to make him a party to the 
covenant also. Quite similar is the ritual in Exod. xxiv , where blood 
[the blood of the ox] is applied to the people of Israel and to the altar." 

In added illustration of the gradations of substitution in the symbol- 
ism of blood-covenanting, Professor Smith shows, by various citations, 
that among the early Arabians fruit-juice and wine-dregs were some- 
times " taken to imitate blood." l This is an incidental verification of 
the position taken in this volume (at pages 191-202) concerning " sym- 
bolic substitutes for blood; " a position which finds added proof in Plu- 
tarch's De Iside (6). 

Is it, indeed, really true that " there is a wide step between a union 
made by the inter-transfusion of blood and the union made by substitute 
blood, whether [m the case of the blood of the substitute ox in 
Madagascar, of the substitute sheep or goat in Arabia, or of the 
substitute ox] sprinkled on both parties, as at Sinai [or by which 
they are anointed as in China and Borneo], or poured m the sacrifice of 
a victim whose flesh is eaten as a symbol of sharing the life and the 
nourishment of Deity [as in India, in Assyria, in Arabia, in Egypt, in 
Europe, and in America] " ? Or, however wide this step may be, is it 
not shown to have been taken so early in the history of the race as to 

l Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, note 5, at p. 260 ff 


have left its traces in the terminology of the Bible written in the light 
of these primitive customs ? 


It is having a common blood, not paitaking of food in common, that 
makes unity of life between two parties who are bi ought together in cove- 
nant. Yet the sharing of food is often a proof of agreement, or even 
of agreed union , and all the world over and always the act of eating 
together accompanies, or rather follows, the rite of covenanting by 
blood. 1 Never, however, is the mere eating in common supposed to 
perfect a vital union, or an organic unity, between the parties to a mu- 
tual feast ; while the sharing a common blood, or an accepted substitute 
for blood, through its tasting or by being touched with it, is supposed to 
perfect such a unity. So far biblical and extra-biblical symbolisms agree. 

A "covenant union in sacrifice" 2 is an indefinite and ambiguous 
term. It may mean a covenant union wrought by sacrifice, or a cove- 
nant union accompanied by sacrifice, or a covenant union exhibited in 
sacrifice. But, in whatever sense it is employed, the fact remains true, 
that, wherever a bloody offering is made in connection with sacrifice and 
with covenanting, it is the blood-drinking, the blood-pouring, or the 
blood-touching, that represents the covenant-making ; while catmg the 
flesh of the victim, or of the feast otherwise provided, represents the 
covenant-ratifying, or the covenant-showing s 

Thu& at Sinai the formal covenanting of the Lord with his people 
was accompanied by sacrificing. 4 Representatives of the people of Israel 
" offered burnt-offerings, and sacrificed peace-offerings of oxen unto the 
Lord." Nothing is here said of the technical sin-offering, but the whole 
burnt-offering and the peace-offering are included. The blood-outpour- 
ing and the blood-sprinkling preceded any feasting. And as if to make 
it clear that "by sprinkling the blood " and not " by eating the flesh of 

* See pp. 41, 148-190, 240, a68 f. * See p. 343, supra-. 

* See pp. 147-190, 4 Exod. 34 . i-ix. 


the victim," the " covenant union in [this] sacrifice was represented," 
Moses took a portion of the blood and " sprinkled [it] on the altar," 
and another portion "and sprinkled it on the people," saying as he did 
so, " Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with 
you." It was not until after this covenanting by blood, that the people 
of Israel, by their representatives, " did eat and drink " in ratification, 
or in proof, or hi exhibit, of the covenant thus wrought by blood. 

The Babylonian Talmud finds in the prohibitions of blood-eating, in 
Leviticus 17 : 3-14, a command " not to eat any portion of a sacrifice be- 
fore its blood is sprinkled upon the altar." L Professor Robertson Smith 
shows from Arabic authorities that of old in Arabia "it required a casd- 
ma [or a covenanting sacred nte] to enable two tribes to eat and dnnk 
together." 2 And this cas&ma he shows to have included ordinarily 
among Arabians a common blood-drinking or blood-sprinkling, similar 
to that described at Mount Sinai. 8 This custom indeed would seem to 
have a trace in the common Oriental mode of hastening to kill a lamb, 
or a calf, as the first act in receiving a guest ; 4 pouring out the cove- 
nanting blood and then sharing the flesh of the peace-offering. Any 
one familiar with Oriental customs can testify to the prevalence of this 
method of receiving a guest. Thus with Arabs, as with Hebrews, the 
i eal covenant-union in sacrifice was represented by the blood-sharing, 
and was celebrated by the feast-partaking. 

Maimomdes calls attention to the fact that in the Mishnah there is a 
suggestion of a commingling of two bloods in a covenant-rite between 
the Lord and his people, at the tune of the exodus. This is quite in 
accord with the suggestion in this volume that in the rite of circumcision 
it was Abraham and his descendants who supplied the blood of the 
covenant, while in the passover-sacnfice it was the Lord who com- 
manded the substitute blood in token of his blood-covenanting. Refer- 

* Cited in Friedlander's Guide of the Perplexed of Mmmonides, note at p. 233 
* Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, note at p 262. 

p 48-50 * See Gen i8'i-8, i Sam. a8 31-24. 


ring to the command, in Exodus 12 : 44-48, for the circumcision of the 
Israelites as piecedent to their partaking of the passover (the covenant- 
ing by blood to precede the exhibit of the covenant in sharing the 
flesh of the sacrifice), Maimonides says of the Mishnah teachings : " The 
number of the circumcised being large, the blood of the Passover and that 
of the circumcision flowed together [thus perfecting a blood-covenant]. 
The Prophet Ezekiel (16 : 6), leferring to this event, says, ' When I 
saw thee sprinkled with thine own blood, I said unto thee, Live because 
of thy blood,' z. e , because of the blood of the Pas&ovei and that of the 
circumcision [thus commingled]." 1 The question of the correctness of 
this exegesis of Ezekiel's words is, of course, unimpoitant as affecting 
the proof here given of the rabbinical recognition of the blood-covenant- 
ing idea in the Exodus narrative. 

Another Jewish teacher, cited by Cudworth, 2 said of the influence of 
the Old Testament sacrifices, that " the blood of beasts offered up in 
sacrifice had an attractive power to draw down Divinity, and unite it 
to the Jews." Yet again, Hamburger, one of the foremost rabbinical 
authorities of the present day, insists that the very word for "atonement," 
in the Hebrew, commonly taken to mean " a cover," or "a covering,'* 
has in it more properly the idea of a compassed union, or an " at-one- 
ment." He says : s " I hold the word kaphar, in the sense * to pitch ' 
[to overlay with pitch, Gen. 6 : 14] * to fill up the seam ' [* to close up 
the chasm'], as a symbolic expression for the reunion of the sinner with 
God." And it is not the Jtesh of the sacrifice, but the blood, that God 
counts the atonement, or the means of at-one-ment between the sinner 
and himself.* 

That " sprinkling the blood " toward the altar in the Jewish sacrifices 
as preliminary to "eating the flesh of the victim," represented the idea 

i Fnedlander's Guide, p 232 See, also, Lightfoot's Her. Heb, t IV,, 34*. 
2 See citation from " that learned Hebrew book Cozri," in Cudworth's Intellec- 
tual System ef tJte Universe, Am Ed., II., 537 

3 Hamburger's Real Encyclopadief Bibel u Talmud, I , 804, note. 
* See Lev 17 . 


of blood-dnnking, as in the primitive mode of blood-covenanting, would 
seem to be indicated by the words of the Lord in Psalm 50 : 12, 13 : 

" If I were hungry, I would not tell thee * 
For the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. 
Will I eat the fifesh of bulls, 
Qr drink the blood of goats ? " 

For though it be here denied," says Cudworth, 1 " that God did really 
feed upon the sacrifices, yet it is implied that there was some such allusive 
signification in them" in the minds of their offerers ; and that the blood- 
sprinkling represented the covenant blood-drinking, as surely as the flesh- 
sharing represented the covenant-celebrating. Why should the Lord say 
that he does not care to drink the blood of goats, if no one of his 
worshipers ever thought of his doing so ? 

Every gleam of the old religions goes to show that it was blood-sharing, 
and not food-sharing, that made a vital union for the life that is or for 
the life that is to come. Thus " for the significance which the Arabs 
down to the time of Mohammed attached to the tasting of another man's 
living blood, there is an instructive evidence hi Ibn Hisham, p. 572. Of 
Malik, who sucked the prophet's wound at Ohod and swallowed the 
blood, Mohammed said, * He whose blood has touched mine cannot be 
reached by hell-fire.' " * Not he who shared a meal with the prophet, 
but he who had become a partaker of his blood, which was his life, was 
in vital union with the prophet so that not even death could finally 
separate the two. 

Whether all bloody sacrifices included the idea of covenant-union as 
immediately accomplished, or whether, again, they sometimes merely 
looked toward covenant-union through atonement as then- ultimate 
fruition, may indeed be a point in question ; but that " covenant-union in 
[bloody] sacrifice" as finally accomplished was represented in its 
accomplishing not by theyfejvfc, but by the blood, would seem to be a fact 

* Intellect. ^,11,537- 

W. Robertson Smith's Kinship and Marriage in Ear 2y Arabia, p. 50. 


beyond fair question. On this point Bahr, out of his world- wide outlook 
over religious symbols, says : l " Everywhere, from China to Iceland, the 
blood is the chief element, the kernel, and the central point, of sacrifice. 
In blood lies its [i. e. sacrifice's] peculiar efficacy ; thiough blood is its 
peculiar action ; blood is synonymous with sacrifice ; it is the sacrifice in 
the narrower sense. ... In this point the Mosaic sacrifice harmo- 
nizes perfectly with the heathen. . . . To sacrifice is to proffer and to 
receive life. When the blood is shed and it streams forth, a life is given 
to the divinity to which the sacrifice is dedicated. This giving is at the 
same time the taking (the receiving) of a life from the divinity ; and the 
sacrifice looks also, in general, to a binding together of life, or to a 
communion of life between those offering and the divinity. In so far as 
this communion is the end and object of all religion, every cult concen- 
trates finally in sacrifice [and ' blood is synonymous with sacrifice ; it is 
the sacrifice in the narrower sense ']." 

This view of blood-union in, or through, typical sacrifices, thus found 
to be held by Jewish rabbis and by later Aiabians, as well as by 
adherents of the ethnic religions, shows itself more or less clearly in 
writings of the Christian Fathers, in their explanation of the covenant 
relation between Christ, as the Antitype of all bloody sacrifice, and his 
trustful people. For example, Ignatius says : 2 ** I desire the drink of 
God, his blood, which is love incorruptible and life eternal ; " and again : 3 
** Being kindled to new life in the blood of God, 4 ye have accomplished 
wholly the work of that relationship." 5 Says Clement of Alexandria : tt 
" In all respects, therefore, and in all things, we are brought into union 
with Christ, into relationship through his blood, by which we are 
redeemed ; " and again : T "To drink the blood of Jesus, is to become 

i Synt&olik, II , 262 f * Ad Romanes, 7. Ad Epke$ios t x. 

* The old Latin version gives the " blood of Christ God." 

5 The Greek words, to sy^genikon ergon (rb avyytvkkbv cpyov), are otherwise 
translated by Horneman, " work worthy of Christian brothers ; " by Hefele, 
" the work of brotherhood " 

Paedagogus, II , 5. t Rid , H., a. 


partaker of the Lord's immortality." Later on, Julius Firmicus says : ! 
" We drink the immortal blood of Christ. Christ's blood is joined to 
our blood. This is the salutary remedy for your offenses." 

A similar idea of the covenanting force of blood in the symbolism of 
the Old Testament and of the New, is again indicated in the fact that 
so many of the Christian Fathers saw a token of the blood-covenant in 
the scailet cord which Joshua commanded Rahab to let down from her 
window as the token of the covenant whereby she was made one with 
the people of God. 2 Thus Clement of Rome 8 and Justin Martyr* 
counted this token a symbol of the blood of Christ, while Irenseus 5 
deemed it a symbol of the original passover blood ; all alike seeming 
to look upon it as a covenant-token ; as, indeed, the scarlet cord has 
been thus recognized in many parts of the world down to the present 
day. 6 Justin Martyr is yet more explicit in Ms recognition of the 
blood-covenant idea in the earlier and the later conjoining of God's 
people with Himself. Referring to the old covenant-token of circum- 
cision, whereby the descendants of Abraham became partakers of God's 
covenant with Abraham, he says : 7 " The blood of that circumcision 
is obsolete, and we trust in the blood of salvation; there is now another 

Under the old covenant and under the new, as likewise in all the 
ethnic religions as well as in the Jewish ritual, covenant-union in sac- 
rifice is represented by blood as its nexus, and by flesh, or bread, as its 
exhibit. Only through blood through the proffer of flowing blood 
can man be brought into that covenant at-one-ment with God, or with 
the gods, which justifies the exhibit of that covenant at-one-ment or 
union between the two parties, in mutual food-sharing. 

1 De Errors, 22 , cited in Wilberforce's Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist, 
p. 225. 

* Josh. 2 * i-2i ; 6 16-25. * -^ Corinth. , 22. 

* Dial Cont, Tryph , cap in. 6 Opera, IV , 20, 12 

* See p. 236 f, , supra T Dial. Cont. Tryph , cap. 24. 



Among all peoples, from the beginning, sacrifice has been a means of 
seeking union with the divine with God or with the gods. And 
through sacrifice this divine-human inter-union has been deemed a 
possibility, in all lands and always. The idea of such a union between 
the human nature and the divine has inevitably come to partake of the 
grossness of the religious conceptions of the different peoples holding it; 
but even in its grossest form it has remained a witness to the primal 
truth which prompted it. 

The ancient kings of Assyria and of Egypt were accustomed to claim 
a common nature with the chief divinities which they worshiped ; and 
this divine kinship was both secured and confirmed to them through their 
sacrifices in their royal-priestly character. 1 Renouf shows that this 
belief in the divine nature of the Egyptian sovereigns existed from " the 
earliest times of which we possess monumental evidence; " moreover, 
that these kings both sought and claimed a union with the divine by their 
multiplied sacrifices, and that "they are also represented as worshiping 
and propitiating their own genius; " since they were both god and man 
through their inter-union with the divine. It has aheady been shown 
that this outreaching for union with the divine was at the basis of 
sacrifice in India, 2 in China, 8 m Persia, 4 in Peru, 6 in Tahiti. 6 Bahr 7 and 
ReVille 8 find this as the truth of truths in every cult , and there would 
seem to be gleams of this truth in the well-nigh universal habit, on the 
part of worshipers, of taking the name of a divinity as a portion of one's 
own name ; thereby claiming a right to be counted as in family oneness 
with the object of one's sacrificial worship. 

i Renouf s Religion of Ancient Egypt, pp. 167-172; and pp. 79-83, 165-169, 
170-173, supra. 

aSeepp 155-164, supra. See pp. 148-154, supra. *Seep 169 f v jw>m, 
6 See pp 175-178, supra. See p. 328 , supra. T Cited at p. 297, supra, 

8 Cited at p. 183, supra. 


In fact, the very meaning of the primitive Chinese word, or character, 
for " sacrifice," a word which claims to show its use at least forty-five 
centuries ago, gives a gleam of this universal heart yearning after 
divine-human inter-union as surely as the definition of "sacrifice." 
Dr. Legge says 1 of the Chinese term for "sacrifice " (/rt) : " The most 
general idea symbolized by it is an offering whereby communication 
and communion with spiritual beings is effected." Says St. Augustine : 3 
"A true sacrifice is every work which is done that we may be united 
to God in holy fellowship, and which has a reference to that supreme 
good and end in which alone we can be truly blessed." So it is that 
all sacrifice whether under ethnic longings or under Bible teachings 
was a reaching out after at-one-ment between the human and the divine ; 
and this apart from any question as to the speculative philosophy of 
the at-one-ment. 

Concerning the traditional view, in Arabia, of blood as a means of 
fellowship with divinities, Maimonides says: 8 "Although blood was 
very unclean in the eyes of the Sabeans, they nevertheless partook of it 
because they thought it was the food of the spirits ; by eating it man 
has something in common with the spirits, which join him and tell him 
future events, according to the notion which people generally have of 
spirits. There were, however, people who objected to eating blood, as 
a thing naturally disliked by man ; they killed a beast, received the 
blood in a vessel or in a pot, and ate of the flesh of that beast, whilst 
sitting around the blood. They imagined that in this manner the spirits 
would come to partake of the blood which was their food, whilst the 
idolaters were eating the flesh ; that love, brotherhood and friendship 
with the spirits was established, because they dined with the latter at 
one place and at the same time ; that the spirits would appear to them 
in dreams, inform them of coming events, and be favorable to them. 
Such ideas people liked and accepted in those days ; they were general, 

1 The Religions of China, p. 66. * The City of God, X,, 6 

Guide of the Perplexed, Fnedlander's Translation, III., 232. 


and their correctness was not doubted by any one of the common people. 
The Law, which is perfect in the eyes of those who know it, and seeks 
to cure mankind of these lasting diseases, forbade the eating of blood, and 
emphasized the prohibition exactly in the same terms as it emphasized 
idolatry : * I will set my face against that soul that eateth blood ' (Lev. 
17 : 10). The same language is employed in leference to him, e who 
giveth of his seed unto Molech ; * * then I will set my face against that 
man " (Lev. 20 : 5). There is besides idolatry and eating blood no other 
sin m reference to which these words are used For the eating of blood 
leads to a kind of idolatry, to the worship of spirits. . . . The 
commandment wastherefoie given that whenever a beast or a bird that 
may be eaten is killed, the blood thereof must be covered with earth 
(Lev. 17: 13) in order that the people should not assemble round the 
blood for the purpose of eating there. The object was thus fully gamed 
to break the connection between these fools and their spirits. This 
belief flourished about the time of our teacher Moses. People were 
attracted and misled by it. We find it in the Song of Moses (Deut. 32 : 
17) :' They sacrificed unto spirits, not to God.' " 

On the same point Rabbi Moses bar Nachman says 1 of the ancient 
"heathens in their worship of their idol gods:" "They gathered 
together blood for the devils their idol gods, and then they came 
themselves and did eat of that blood with them, as being the devils' 
guests, and invited to eat at the table of devils ; and so were joined in 
federal society with them." 

Strabo says, 2 that the Persians reserved for the use of the offerers all 
the " flesh " of their sacrifices ; " for they say that God requires the soul 
[ ^TO psyche the blood] and nothing else " And this idea, that the 
divinities were fed and nourished by the blood of sacrifices, while the 
worshipers were brought into communion and union with the divinities 
through this offering, seems to have prevailed among the Greeks and 

1 Cited in Cud worth's Intellectual System of the Universe^ Andover ed,, II., 543. 
Geograpkica, XVII., 13 (732). 



Romans ; and even many of the Christian fathers accepted its truth as 
applicable to the demons l For example, St. Basil says 2 " Sacrifices 
are things of no small pleasure and advantage to demons ; because the 
blood, being evaporated by fire, is taken into the compages and substances 
of their bodies : the whole of which [bodily substance] is throughout 
nourished with vapors." 


It has already been shown, in this volume, that in all ages blood 
unjustly spilled has been supposed to have the power of making its 
voice heard against him who poured it out by violence. This is the 
Bible representation of the first blood which stained the hands of a 
murderer " The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the 
ground," 3 was the Lord's declaration to Cain. And down to the latest 
times, and in all lands, there have been vestiges of this primitive belief 
of mankind as thus sanctioned in the inspired revelation of God. 4 
Yet, because of the sophisticated and conventional idea which has 
gradually come to possess the Occidental mind that in some way blood 
stands for death and not for hfe, the Oriental and Biblical idea of blood 
as in some sense voiceful even when sepaiated from the body, has 
been so lost sight of as to be a means of shadowing and perverting 
various Bible texts and teachings. 

A chief prominence attaches to Abel, even in the New Testament 
record, from the fact that his blood was voiceful after its spilling by his 
brother Cain. Where he appears, at the head of the martyr roll of the 
heroes of faith, in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, this it is which is 
named as a crowning consequence of his spirit of faith. "By faith 

iSee citations from Porphyry and Origen, and references to many other writers 
in Harrison's Cudworth's Intellectual System of the Universe, with Mosheim's 
Notes, III , 350-352 

8 In Commentary on Isaiah, cited in Harrison's Cudworlh, as above. 
8 Gen 4 10. * See pp. 143-147, supra. 


Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through 
which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God beanng 
witness m respect of [or over] his gifts ; and through it [through this 
faith which gave him acceptance with God] he being dead yet 
speaketh " l even after he is dead his voice is heard as befoie his death. 
It is not Abel's memory but Abel's self his soul, his life, his blood 
which is here represented as speaking; and a refeience to the Old Tes- 
tament record shows how it was that Abel being dead yet spoke. So 
again, the contrast between the blood of Jesus and the blood of Abel 2 
in the potency of their voices 8 gives emphasis to the fact that it was 
the speaking of Abel's spilled blood that marks Abel's place in the 
sacred record. 

That this voicefulness of the outpoured blood of the proto-martyr 
Abel was, in the days of the New Testament wiitmg, understood in a 
peculiar literalness on the part of the Jews, is evidenced not only in this 
reference to it in the Epistle to the Hebrews, but in a Talmudic refer- 
ence to the traditional voicefulness of a later martyr's blood, and in a 
coupled leference by our Lord to the two martyrdomsin the light of 
their traditional outspeaking. Both the Jerusalem Talmud and the 
Babylonian tell of the irrepressible voice of Zechariah the son of 
Jehoiada, who was slam by King Joash 4 in the court of the priests of 

1 Heb. ii : 4. 3 Heb. 12 : 24. 

8 It Is said that the blood of Jesus cpeaks betternot " better things " as our old 
version had it than the blood of Abel. The Greek word here rendered *' better *' is 
kreittona (KpeiVrova) " more mightily," " more surpassingly," " more excellently" 
(comp. Heb 1:4; 7:7)," net more satisfactorily/' nor yet " more lovingly." 
The voice of Abel (for the voice of Abel's blood is Abel's voice) was heard and 
heeded In its day. The voice of Jesus (for the voice of the blood of Jesus is the 
voice of Jesus (comp. Heb 10 : 39) is a voice more worthy than Abel's of being 
heard. Therefore" see that ye refuse not him that speaketh " (see Heb. 12:25). 
Not the memory but the very self of the martyr, in every instance, gives the voice 
which is to be heard and heeded as a witness to the truth. 
* 2 Chron. 34 : 37-25. 


the first temple. His blood which was left there would not be quiet. 
" When therefore Nebuzar-adan [the captain of the Babylonian guard 
put in charge of Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar 1 ] went up thither, he 
saw the blood [still] bubbling ; so he said to them, * What xneaneth 
this?' 'It is the blood/ say they, 'of calves, lambs and rams, which 
we have offered on the altar.' c Bring then,' said he, ' calves, lambs 
and rams, that I may try whether this be their blood.' They brought 
them and slew them, and that blood still bubbled, but their blood did 
not bubble. [The one had a voice, the other had not ] * Discover the 
matter to me,' said he, * or I will tear your flesh with iron rakes.' Then 
they said to him, * This was a priest, a prophet, and a judge, who fore- 
told to Israel all these evils which we have suffered from you, and we 
rose up against him, and slew him.' * But I,' saith he, * will appease 
him.' [His voice shall not be unheeded.] He brought the rabbins and 
slew them upon that blood, and yet it was not pacified : he brought the 
children out of the school, and slew them upon it, and yet it was not 
quiet ; he brought the young priests, and slew them upon it, and yet it 
was not quiet. So that he slew upon hi it [in all] ninety -four thousand, 2 
and yet it was not quiet. He drew near to it himself, and said, l O 
Zacharias, Zacharias ! thou hast destroyec^the best of thy people ' [that 
is, they have been killed for your sake] ; * would you have me destroy 
all "> ' Then it was quiet, and did not bubble any more." s 

The question is not as to the truthfulness of this narration, but as to 
its existence as a Jewish tradition in the days of our Lord. Putting it, 
therefore, alongside of the Bible record of Abel's voiceful blood, as 
explained in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and what fresh force it gives to 
the declaration of Jesus concerning the reproachful outcry of the blood 
of all the maityrs, against those who in his day represented the spirit 

1 Anachronisms of this sort are not uncommon in the Talmud. 
2 These figures are quite in accordance with the exaggerations of the Talmud. 
* Citations from Jerusalem Talmud, Taaneeth^ fol 69 : r, a ; and Babylonian Tal- 
mud, Sanhedreen, fol. 96 . a , m Llghtfoot's Horee He&raica, II., 303-308. 



which caused their martyidom " That upon you may come all the 
righteous blood shed on the eaith, from the blood of Abel, the righteous, 
unto the blood of Zachariah, son of Barachiah, 1 whom ye slew between 
the sanctuary and the altar " 2 

The blood is the life, and when the life is united to God by faith the 
death of the body cannot silence the voice of him who is in covenant 
oneness with God. 


In the study of this entire subject, of the relation of blood and of 
blood-covenanting to the primitive religious conceptions of the race, 
fresh material out of the rites and customs of different peoples in various 
ages is constantly presenting itself on every side. A few illustrations of 
this truth are added herewith, without regard to their special and separ- 
ate classification. 

The idea that transferred blood was transferred life, and that the 
receiving of the blood of a sacred substitute victim was the receiving of 
the very life of the being represented by that substitute, showed itself m 
the worship of Cybele, in the ancient East, in a most impressive ceremony. 
" The Taurobolium of the ancients was," as we arc told, " a ceremony 
in which the high-priest of Cybele was consecrated; and might be 
called a baptism of blood, which they conceived imparted a spiritual 
new birth to the liberated spirit. . . The high-priest about 
to be inaugurated was introduced into a dark excavated apartment, 
adorned with a long silken robe, and a crown of gold. Above this 
apartment [which would seem to have represented a place of burial] 
was a floor perforated in a thousand places with holes like a sieve, 
through which the blood of a sacred bull, slaughtered for the purpose, 
descended in a copious torrent upon the inclosed priest, who received 

*As to the question concerning the identity of this martyr with the son of 
Jehoiada, see Lightfoot, as above. 

2 Matt 33.35; Luke ix 51. 


the purifying [or re-vivifying] stream on every part of his dress, rejoicing 
to bathe with the bloody shower his hands, his cheeks, and even to bedew 
his lips and his tongue with it [thereby tasting it and so securing the 
assimilation of its imparted life]. When all the blood had run fiom the 
throat of the immolated bull, the carcass of the victim was removed, 
and the priest issued forth from the cavity, a spectacle ghastly and 
horrible, hu, head and vestments being covered with blood, and clotted 
drops of it adhering to his venerable beard. As soon as the pontifex 
appeared before the assembled multitude the air was rent with congratu- 
latory shouts ; so pure and so sanctified, however, was he now esteemed 
that they dared not approach his person, but beheld him at a distance 
with awe and veneration." 1 

Here seems to be the idea of a burial of the old life, and of a new 
birth into the higher nature represented by the substitute blood; as that 
idea appears in the Norseland method, of entering into the blood-cove- 
nant under the lifted sod. 2 It also appears to represent the receiving of 
new life by the bath of blood. 3 

Even down to our own time in such a land as China, where the sym- 
bolism of blood seems to have as small prominence as in any portion of 
the world, there are vestiges of the primitive custom of partaking of the 
blood, and eating of the heart as the blood-fountain, in order to absorb 
the life of the victim ; a custom which, as has been already noted, has 
prevailed in the primitive East and in the primitive West. 4 Thus it 
is recorded that, as late as 1869, one Aching and his brother, of Sinchew, 
in the province of which Canton is the capital, were engaged in various 
local conflicts and finally sought refuge in Fukien Province. There 
they were killed and mutilated, and " Aching's heart was cut out, boiled, 
and eaten by his savage captors, under the notion that they would 

1 This is cited as from a classical authority, through Maurice's Indian Antiquities 
(v 196), in a note to Burder's Winston's Josephus (Antiq. III., 9). 
3 See p 41 f , sujra. * See pp. 116-126 , 324, sujra. * See pp. 99-110 , 126-133. 


become more daring and bloodthirsty in consequence." J And a Canton 
letter in a recent issue of the North China Mail says, that " no Chinese 
soldier in Tonquin during the late war lost an opportunity to eat the 
flesh of a fallen French foe, believing that human flesh, especially that 
of foreign warriors, is the best possible stimulant for a man's courage ; " 
this being clearly a vestige of the primitive belief that the transfeience 
of the material life by absorption, is a transference of spiritual identity. 

Additional testimony to the vestiges of the blood-covenant as a 
primitive rite in China, is given in the following letter on the subject 
from the Rev. Dr. A. P. Happer, who was for many yeais a missionary 
in that country : 

" In reference to the form of solemn covenant as it was made anciently 
among the Chinese. It is expressed as a Mgng Yeuh. The last word 
is a covenant-agreement treaty. It is the word used in designating 
the treaties between nations. * MSng ' is the word which has the use 
of blood in giving sanctity to the agreement It is composed of the 
characters for sun, moon, and a basin. Whethei the sun and moon were 
the objects before which the oath was taken, and the basin was that in 
which the blood was held, I will not affirm. It is defined * An oath 
anciently taken by smearing one's self with the blood of the victim ; * 
then, secondarily, ' a contract, an agreement, alliance compact.' Here 
is almost precisely the form of covenant, as to the mode of latifying 
it, as was used by Abraham. 

"As to the oath which is taken by those who enter the Triad Society 
in China I would remark : The name * Triad ' is given because the society 
is bound by solemn covenant to the great powers in the world as held 
by the Chinese : namely, heaven, earth, and man ; the literal translation 
of the Chinese name * San hop wei,' ' Three United Association. 7 

" This society was organized soon after the present dynasty obtained, 
which was in 1644. The society is said to have been formed about 

l Thomson's The Straits of Malacca, Indo-China t and China, p. 359. 


1670, for the purpose of driving out the Tatars and restoring the 
previous dynasty, which was a Chinese dynasty. As the founder of the 
previous dynasty had been a Buddhist priest, this society was composed, 
at first, largely of priests, and had their meetings in Buddhist temples. 
Hence it has always been regarded as a traitorous association and pro- 
scribed by the laws. The Taiping rebellion in 1850 to 1865 was an 
outcome of it. The chief of that rebellion was the head of the Triad 
Society, and proclaimed himself the emperor of the Great Peace 
Heavenly Kingdom. One of their vagaries was this, in order to 
conceal their Triad connection : The chief, in reading Christian books, 
found that the Christian God is regarded as a Trinity. Taking the word 
used by part of the missionary body to designate God, namely, Shangti, 
they designated themselves as the Shangti Association; that is, The 
Triune God Association. 

" The initiation into this society is with the most solemn rites and 
binding oath. It is done in secret meeting, in a secret place, generally 
at night. Swords are crossed so as to form an arch, under which the new 
member passes, to imply that a sword is over the neck of any one who 
violates the covenant. Blood is drawn from his finger, and mixed with 
water, which he drinks. The members are called brethren^ and the 
relation is more sacred and inviolable than that of brothers by birth. 
Any one who violates this covenant of brotherhood made with blood 
must be killed by the brotherhood. No one may protect, screen, or 
assist, in any way, such a delinquent, or, rather, false brother, one who 
had falsified such a solemn oath. 

" From this narrative we see that this manner of adding sanctity to an 
oath in making an agreement or covenant by blood comes down from 
the earliest history of the Chinese people. The Triad Society adopted 
this manner of taking an oath to fulfil all the agreements and obligations 
of their covenant, written in thirty-six clauses, because it was the most 
solemn and obligatory of any known to them." 

This blood-drinking as a means of courage inspiring is also linked 


with the idea of blood-covenanting, in an illustration given by Herodotus 1 
out of the times of the Persian invasion of Egypt under Cambyses. 
One Phanes was blamed by the Greek and Carian allies of the Egyptians 
" for having [treacherously] led a foreign army into Egypt " His sons 
were taken by the allies, and in the sight of both armies their throats 
were cut, one by one, the blood being received into goblets and mingled 
with wine and water; " all the allies dunking of the blood " as prelimi- 
nary to a united onset against the enemy thus vicariously absoibed into 
the being of the allied forces, 

" There is no doubt," says President Washburn, of Robert College, 
Constantinople," 2 that among the Sclavic races the blood-covenant [as 
described in this volume] still exists; especially in Montenegro and 
Servia." A recent German writer 3 cites a Sclavic song which gives an 
illustration of this custom; the full meaning of which song he quite 
fails to comprehend, through his unfamiharity with the rite itself. The 
song describes the slaughter on a battle-field at Mohaas, in Hungary, 
where the outpoured blood of the combatants was intercommingled in 
their death : 

" There as well as here was lamentation , 
Flooded o'er with blood the field of slaughter. 
Dark alike was blood of Turk and Chi istian 
Turk and Christian here by blood made brothers./' 

This tender reference to blood-brotherhood in death is supposed by the 
German writer to be made in keen irony, although he cites it from a 
people who are, in his opinion, less bigoted and fanatical than Muham- 
madans generally. 
It has been already shown* that Poseidonios tells of the custom, 

1 Hist. III., n. a i n a private letter to the author. 

8 Dr Friedrich S. Krauss, in a paper read before the American Philosophical 
Society, Oct. 2, 1885 ; m Proceedings of the Ant. PhiL Soc , for January, 1886, 
pp. 87-94. 

* Page 3o, svfra. 


among the primitive German peoples, of opening " the veins upon their 
foreheads, and mixing the flowing blood with their drink," as their 
method of entering into the blood-covenant. A trace of this primitive 
custom would seem to be found in a still extant method of making 
brotherhood among the students in German universities. Bayard Taylor 
describes this ceremony as he observed it at Heidelberg, in I846. 1 
When new students are to be made " Bursehen " (or fellows), while at 
the same time the bands of brotherhood are to be kept fresh and sacred 
among those who are already banded together in their student life, the 
" consecration song " of the Landesvater is sung with mutual beer-drink- 
ing and cap-piercing. The ceremony includes the striking of glasses 
together, as held in the right hand before drinking; the crossing of 
swords, as held in the left hand; the piercing of each one's cap with a sword 
(the caps of all who take part in the ceremony being successively strung 
upon the two swords of those who conduct it) ; the exchanging of the 
cap-laden swords between those leaders , the return of each pierced cap 
to its owner ; the resting of the ends of the crossed swords on the heads, 
covered by the pierced caps, of each pair participating in turn in the 
ceremony ; with the singing in concert of the song of consecration, of 
which these two verses are an illustration : 

" Take the beaker, pleasure seeker, 

With thy country's drink brimmed o'er ! 

In thy left the sword is blinking, 

Pierce it through the cap, while drinking 
To thy Fatherland once more ! 

*' In left hand gleaming, thou art beaming, 

Sword from all dishonor free 1 
Thus I pierce the cap, while swearing, 
It m honor ever wearing, 

I a valiant Bursch will be I " 

In this rite the cap instead of the head is punctured, and the beer 
1 In Views Afoot, cited in Chambers's Cyclo. ofEng. Lit. 


alone (beer as the popular substitute for wine) instead of the old time 
draught of blood and wine is shared, in symbol of the cutting of the 
covenant of blood. 

This cutting of the head, or of some other portion of the body, in 
order to let the blood flow out towaid another as a symbol of life-giving, 
is a primitive custom which shows itself in many parts of the world. 
Bruce says .* " As soon as a near relation dies in Abyssinia, a brother or 
parent, cousm-german or lover, every woman in that relation, with the nail 
of her little finger, which she leaves long on purpose, cuts the skin of 
both her temples, about the size of a sixpence; and theiefore you 
see either a wound or a scar m every fair face in Abyssinia " Pitts 
tells 2 of a practice m Algiers of cutting the arms in testimony of love 
showing toward the living, somewhat like that already referred to as 
prevalent in Turkey. 8 Letting the blood flow over the dead, 01 for the 
dead, from gashes on the head or the breast or the limbs, is a custom 
among various tribes of North American Indians, 4 and in different islands 
of the sea. 5 This would seem to be one of the primitive customs for- 
bidden in the Mosaic law : " Ye shall not moke any cuttings in your 
flesh for the dead." 

The primitive rite of blood-covenanting by the inter- transfusion of 
blood through the cutting of the clasped hands of the parties to the 
covenant, would seem to impart a new meaning to a divine assurance, 
in the words of the Evangelical Prophet, which has been deemed of 
peculiar tenderness and force without its symbolism being fairly 

l Travels, III , 680. 

8 A Faithful Account of the Religions and Manners of the Mahometans , Chap, 3. 
8 See p. 85, supra. See also La Roque, cited in Harmer's Observations, V., 433. 
* See article on " Mortuary Customs of North American Indians," m First Ann. 
Rep* of Bureau of Ethnol , pp. 112, 139, 164, 183, 190. 

5 See Angas's $av Scenes, I., 96, 315, 331 ; II., 84, 89 f,, a xa. 
8 Lev, 19 : 28; 21 : 5 ; Deut 14 : i. 


understood. Herodotus tells of the rite of blood-covenanting among 
the Arabians, by cutting into the palms of the hands, in order that the 
blood of the two may be unalterably interchanged. 1 Isaiah, writing not 
far from the time of Herodotus, uses this illustration of Jehovah's 
unfailing fidelity to his people : " Can a woman forget her sucking 
child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb ? 
yea, these may forget, yet will not I forget thee. Behold, I have graven 
thee upon [I have cut thee into] the palms of my hands." a A mother 
and a child were for a time as one; but they may be separated and 
become mutually forgetful. They, however, who have become as one 
personality, through an intermingling of their life-blood at the palm of 
the hand, cannot be wholly separated. Jehovah has covenanted with 
his people in a covenant that will never be forgotten by him. 3 The 
covenant relation which thus makes a friend nearer and dearer than 
brother, or son, or daughter, or wife, it is which is referred to in the 
climax of human relationships in the law of Moses, as "thy friend 
which is as thine own soul; "* such a friend, made by the covenant of 
the pierced hands, will never be forgotten by his other self. 

It has been already mentioned that there were indications of the blood- 
covenant and its involvings in the sacred writing of the Zoroastrians, 5 
and in the writings of Herodotus with reference to the Persian invasion, 
of Egypt, 6 and now, as the last pages of this volume go to press, there 
comes an illustration of the existence of this rite in Persia in its primi- 
tive form at the present time. 

Mr. J. H. McCormick, now of Schenectady, New York, was, for 

See p. 62 f. * Jsa. 49 : 15, 16. 

3 The attempts to explain this figure of speech (see Rosentniiller, Stolberg, Bur- 

der, Roberts, etc ) by a reference to the custom of tattooing pictures of sacred 

shrines on the arms and breasts of pilgrims, gives no such idea as this of loving 

unity between God and his people, as more enduring than that of mother and child. 

* Deut. 13 : 6. B See p. 169 6 See p. 365 f. 


a number of years, connected with the Royal Engineers' British Service, 
in India and Persia. It was while he was at Dehbeed, in Persia, m the 
eaily part of 1871 that he witnessed the consummation of this rite, and 
he gives this description of it- "Near Dehbeed there is a large cave 
where jackals frequent On the 2d of February, 1871, a boy nine 
years old, who was the son of Alee Muhammad, wandered into this cave, 
and his cries attracted the notice of Jaffar Begg (one of my ghootans, or 
line policemen, who was in charge of the caravansary), who immediately 
armed himself, and, with two powerful dogs, entered the cave, and there 
in a far-away corner he found young Alee Muhammad crouched. He 
brought him out in safety, and handed him over to his father, who lived 
about half a mile away The father's joy was so great, and he was so 
grateful to his son's deliverer, that he, being a Persian gentleman, pro- 
posed their entering into Hfe-biotherhood, and Jaffar Begg joyfully 
accepted the proposition. 

" Having procured two new pocket-knives, they both, that is, JafTar 
Begg and Alee Muhammad, appeared at the place appointed, about three 
hundred yards from my office, Jaffar having invited me to witness the 
ceremony. At 10 A. M., February 4, 1871, a large Persian carpet was 
spread out on the sand. The two men knelt down on it, placing a small 
stone in front of each. These stones were brought fiom the centre of 
Muhammadan worship at Mecca. Both men piaycd to God. Each 
man touched his sacred stone with his forehead, his mouth, and his 
heart three times Then they had a pipe together; then a cup of 
coffee without milk or sugar; then a second prayer; then a second 
pipe and a second cup of coffee ; then a third prayer. 

"After this Jaffar took out his pocket-knife and cut Alee Muhammad's 
right wrist on the inside, sucking the blood from the cut. Alee Muham- 
mad drew his pocket-kmfe and cut Jaffar's right wrist on the inside, 
sucking the blood from the cut. Both wounds bleeding freely, the 
wrists were brought together, wound to wound, and the two men re- 
peated together an invocation, calling God to witness that these two 


persons were now made one by blood until death. Then the hakeem, 
or doctor, dressed their wounds. They had a final prayer together, in 
which all present, except myself, joined. They had another pipe, and 
another cup of coffee, after which they separated. The sacredness of 
this bond is greater than language can express." 

In the modern observance of this rite in Persia, it will be seen that 
the main features of the rite in all the ages are preserved. The mutual 
tasting of the blood, the inter-transfusion of the blood, the stones of 
witness, the invoking of God's approval, the mutual smoking of the 
pipe, the drinking together, and the communion feast, all are here. The 
old rite and the new are one in the blending of two lives into one in 
God's sight. 

In Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire there is an 
incidental suggestion of the survival of this rite along the passing cen- 
turies in Western Asia. During the struggle of Baldwin II. to preserve 
the waning power of the Latin Empire of Constantinople, about the 
middle of the thirteenth century, "the throne of the Latin emperor was 
protected by a dishonorable alliance with the Turks and Comans. To 
secure the former, he consented to bestow his niece on the unbelieving 
sultan of Cogni ; to please the latter, he complied with their pagan rites; 
a dog was sacrificed between the two armies; and the contracting 
parties tasted each other's blood, as a pledge of their fidelity." 1 

Several Japanese students have informed me that there are survivals 
of the blood- covenant in Japan, in the custom of the signing of mutual 
covenants in the blood of the parties to the covenant. 

The Rev. Dr. John G. Paton, the veteran Scotch missionary among 
the cannibals of the New Hebrides, testifies to the sacred character of 
cannibalism among that people. He informs me that they evidently 
seek inter-communion with the gods by partaking of the blood and the 
flesh of their victims. This testimony corresponds with that of other 

1 Miiman's Gibbon, Am. ed., Vol VI., p lax. 


missionaries as to the basis of cannibalism in the root idea of divine- 
human inter-communion in the blood and the flesh of substitute sacrifice. 
And so all the gleanings from the world's field tend to show the 
unique importance of the idea of blood as the life, the offering of blood 
as the offering of life, the divine acceptance of blood as the divine 
acceptance of life, and the sharing of blood as the sharing of life Here 
is the basal thought of sacrifice, in its true meaning in the sight of God 
and man* 



AARON : his eating and drinking in 
covenant, 240. 

Abayh, the rite in, 8. 

Abel : his blood-giving. 210-212 ; his 
proffer of himself to God, an f. , his 
voice of blood, 359 f. 

Abihu : his eating and drinking in 
covenant. 340. 

Abimelech : his covenant -with Abra- 
ham, 264 f. ; his relation to Ahuz- 
zath, 267 f. ; his covenant with 
Isaac, 267 f. 

Abraham : his surrender of Isaac, 166 ; 
the fnend of God, 215-221; his blood- 
giving, 217-221 ; his faith-testing, 
224*230 ; his covenant with Abime- 
lech, 265 f. 

Abram his first covenant with indi- 
viduals, 264 f. 

Abydos, inscription in temple at, 301 f. 

Abyssinia: the slayer*s blood drunk by 
relatives of the slain in, 262 f. ; cut- 
tings of face in, 368. 

Acosta: cited, 176 f 

Adams* cited, 92, 190. 

Adoption of children, form of, in India, 

.flSschylus : cited, 297. 

Africa : life through new blood in, 125 f. ; 
heart-eating in, 129 ; blood from legs 
in, 235 ; blood-cancelling in, 261 ; 
blood-bathing in, 324 

"Agreement bottle," before a wedding, 
199 f 

Ahab s blood licked by dogs, 312 f. 

Ahuzzath and Abimelech, 267 f. 

Akkadian: traces of substitute sacri- 
fices, 1 66; sacrifice of first-born, 

Alcedo : cited, 131 f. 

Aleppo, the nte in, 8. 

Alhngham : cited, 332. 

Altar: a table of blood-bo jght com- 
munion, 167 f., 189, 292 f ; sprink- 
ling blood upon, 243, 292 ; true les- 
son of, 255. 

America: traces of the nte in, 43, 54- 
56, 90 f 

America, Central and South substitute 
blood in covenant sacrifice in, 173- 
178 , heart for life in, 301 f. 

American Indians : Oriental customs 
among, 127 , their sacrificing and 

feasting, 179 ; conception of blood 

and liver among, 305 

Amontes in covenant with Abram, 264 f. 
Amulet : of covenant record, 6 . house of 

the, 7 ; swallowing of, 17 f ; its use 

in the rite, 81 f. , red, in ancient 

Egypt, 233. 
Amys and Amylion, romance of, 117, 

Anderson; cited, 40-42, 69, 140, 174, 


Andrews, reference to, 281 
Aner, Mamre, and Eshcol : their cove- 

nant with Abram, 264 f. 
Angas : cited, 133, 336, 368. 
Annandale : cited, 3041. 
Anointing with blood. See Blood- 

Anpu and Ba.a, Egyptian story of, 103- 


Appianus: cited, 72. 
Arabia : the nte in, 62, 351 , legend of life 

through blood in, 119 f. , substitute 

blood m, 227, 347-349 , balancing a 

blood account in, 261 f, ; signifi- 

cance of blood in, 357 
Arabs : sacrifice and feasting among, 

170 ; their conception of hver and 

spleen, 304. 
Araucamans : vicarious sacrifice among,. 

131 f. ; traces of the rite among, 334. 
Arctic regions, heart for life in, 301 f. 
Aristotle : cited, 38, So. 
Armenia, survivals of the rite in, 90. 
Arm : blood from, in the rite, 5 f , 16,. 

18, 26, 30-32, 36 f., 49-51, 60- 

62, 79-83, 235, 310, lifting up of, in 

oath, 235. 

Armlet. See Bracelet. 
Armpit, blood drawn from, 174 f. 
Arrack as substitute for blood, 193. 
Arnaga: cited, Ti5. 
Arthur, King, legends of life through 

blood, 1 20 

Ashantees, heart-eating among. 129. 
Assiratwn a drink of covenanting, 63 f. 
Assyria, traces of the rite in, 64, 75, 

115, 165-169. 
Assyrian kings: their claim of union 

with gods, 356. 
Athenseus : cited, 170, 320. 
Atonement : through life, not through 

death, 245 f , 287 f . , meaning of 




word, 352; only through shared 
blood, 355 

Augustine his condemnation of cove- 
nant tokens, 338 , on meaning of 
sacrifice, 357 

Aulus Gelhus cited, 73 

Australia belief as to blood in, 129 , vi- 
carious blood-yielding in, 133, nng 
of flesh in, 331 , giving of new name 
in, 335 f , brotherhoods in, 338 

"Avenger," "goel " not an, 259 

Aztecs their ideas of divine-human 
inter-communion, 183 , cannibalism 
among, 190 

BAAL, pnests of, illustrating the nte, 89 f 
Baal-beieeth,"Master of the covenant " 

3x8 f ; at Shechem, 218 f 
Babylon, traces of the nte in, 115, 165- 


Bacon cited, 74 f 
Bahr on blood-shedding m covenants, 

297 , on significance of blood, 354 
Balfour : cited, 66 
Bancroft, H H cited, 55, 9 f j 10 5- 

107,141,174-176 . 
Banquet, an accompaniment of sacrifice 

in China, 149 , elsewhere, 176 f 

See, al&o, Feasting 
Basil, on sacrifices to demons, 359 
Bastian cited, 139 
Bata and Anpu, Egyptian story of, 103- 


Baths of blood See Blood-bathing, 
Beasts sacrifice of, m China, 152 f. , 

sacrifice of, m India, 161 , blood of, 

made sacred, 243 
Bed'ween their blood brotherhood, 9 f , 

their sacrificing and feasting, 179 , 

marriage customs among, 193 , their 

justification in eating liver, 304 
Beecham : cited, 129 
Beer . with and for blood, 13 ; as a sub- 
stitute for blood, 193, 367 f 
Beer sheba, covenant at, 265. 
*' Believed in," root-meaning of, 221, 
Belts and necklaces , of wampum, 336- 

328, of red feathers, a divine-ioyal 

emblem in Tahiti, 328 
Benson cited. 93 f , 145. 
Berosus* cited, Ha 
Bheels: blood-anointing among, 136 f , 

covenant-drinking among, 198 
Bible study its wide range, 3 
Bible, the, a book for Orientals, 3 , the 

eailiest reference to blood m, 210 , 

indications of the nte in. 200-293 
Bible terminology, traces of the rite m, 

Biblical research, gam through, 4 
Birch* cited, 79, 81, 83, 100, ioa, 336 
Birdwood . cited, 109, 164 
Bixby, Di H M , on the nte among 
Karens, 316 

Bleeding hand, sign of, in Tunis, 342. 

Bleek . cited, 301 f 

Blood from arm, 5 f , 16, 18, 26, 30-32; 
3 ^, 49-Si, 60-62, 79-83. =35, 3t6 , 
from tongue, 9 f , 124, from, stom- 
ach, 13 , from forehead, 13, 90, 332, 
320, 366 f , from bosom, 45 , from 
fingers, 59, 62,96, offered to gods, 
in Central and South America, 
105-107; m China, m India, in 
Phoenicia, 109 ; bunal of, xoo, 243 f , 
as life, no, 147, 241, mingled with 
mandrake juice, xxx, in Greek 
legend, 112, transfusion of. in Tas- 
mania, 126, as a means of amplia- 
tion, 139-147; bearing witness, 143- 
147, not death, but life, 148, 344, 
on door-posts in China, 153, from 
ears, from armpits, from under the 
girdle, 174 f , fiom elbows, 175* 
shanng of, gives common life, 18? f ; 
of grapes, 191 , earliest refeience to, 
in Bible, 210, primitive teachings 
of, 310-215 , abstinence from, en- 
joined, 2x5, from cheek, 2x8, min- 
gled with wine, 2x3 f , waters of 
Egypt turned into, 331 , the pass- 
over sign, 331; f ; from legs, 335, 
313 f , from patties to covenant, 
240, foi bidden as food, 240 f. ; of 
beasts deemed sacred, 342, friend- 
ship through, 343 , pre-eminence of, 
in sacrifices, 245, milk or, In 
blood-cancelling, 261 f , vivifying 
power of, 284-286, 306 f , used m 
leprosy, 287 f , hands or -weapons 
of confedeiates dipped in, 207 , les- 
sons of, m Boinco, 308 f,, in mar- 
riage ceremony in Doinoo, 309 , in 
Tahiti, 337 f ; and butter m cove- 
nanting, 338 , sharing nukes union, 
350 , Sabe-in views of, 357 f , effect 
of eating, 357 f , from wmt, 370, 
signatures of mutual covenants made 
in, m Japan, 371 

Blood-anointing m Arabia, xx, 1x9 f , 
368, m North and South Amenca, 
90 f, in Aithurtan romance, 120 f F 
among the Bheek, 136 f ; among 
the daubs, 137 f , among the Chi- 
nese, 154 f. ; among Arabs, 268 , 
among British Columbia Indians, 
307 f ; among the Karens, 3x3 f , 
among the Australians, 337 f, sig- 
nificance of. among Ziifiis, 305-307, 

Blood-balancing, m Aiabia, a6i f. See, 
ako, Blood-cancelling 

Blood-bathing : among Egyptians, 116- 
1x8, in Scandinavia, zax f. J among 
Brahmans, iaa f ; among Kafirs, 
139, among Bechunnos, 324. 

Blood brotherhood by proxy, 13, 28 ; In 
China, m Burmah, m Madago&car, 



in Borneo, in North and South 
America, m Brazil, in South Sea 
Islands, in Syria, among Malays, 
43-58, in Persia, 370 f 

Jlood-cancellmg . tariffs for, 260 f , 
in Arabia, m Syria, 260-264 ; Bible 
references to, 263; in Africa, 261, 

Hood covenant : a primitive Semitic 
rite, 4 ; still observed in the East, 5 , 
description of, 5 ; m Syria, Aleppo, 
Hasbayya, Abayh, among Koords v - 
near Tyre and Sidon, 5-8 ; a perma- 
nent bond, 6 f , among Arabs, 12 ; in 
Central Africa, 12-38; in Europe, 
39,40, in Borneo, 49- e 4; in Malay 
Archipelago, 52 f. , in Yucatan, 54 ; 
among American Indians, 54-56; 
in Brazil, 55; references to, in the 
classics, 58 65 , in Scythia, 58 f. ; 
in Armenia, 59 f. , traces of, in Hin- 
dostan, 67; traces of. in Egypt, 70, 
75, 77-85, 90-105, i TO f , traces of, in 
China, 153 f , 364 ; in ancient Guate- 
mala, 174; in the passover, 230-238 ; 
at Sinai, 238-240; in the Mosaic 
ritual, 240-263 ; in the Gospels, 271- 
293 ; its application in Jesus Christ, 
286-293 , among Karens in Burmah, 
313-316, among Shans, 316 , traces 
of, m Scotland, 318-320 ; in ancient 
Germany, 320 ; in Australia, 335 f ; 
among Sclavic races, 366 f., traces 
of, m modern Germany, 366-368 ; 
various modes of, combined in Per- 
sia, 370 f. 

flood-drinking : in covenant, 5 f , 9, 18, 
41, 44-48, 50 f., 53* S3 f , 60, 126, 
161 f,, 200, 267; in the classics, 
113 f ; for life, in France, 124; by 
Scythians, 126, 267 ; among fellaheen 
in Palestine, 130 ; in the Nibelungen 
Lied, ^30 ; in Nubia, 131 f. , in Abys- 
sinia, 132 f , among the Hallenga, 
132 ; in Masai Land, 135 f , in 
Himalayan districts, 141 f ; in 
marriage, 191-193; prohibited in 
the Bible, 213 f , 240, 251; m Ab- 
yssinia, 262 f. ; among American 
Indians, 304 f ; among Zunis, 306 ; 
in Burmah, 714 ; among Shans, 316 ; 
in ancient Germany, 320; charged 
against Jews and Christians, 321 ; 
among Persians, 321, 365 f , 370; 
in Australia, 330 ; in the New Heb- 
rides, 371 ; between allies, in. West- 
ern Asia, 371. 

Hood friendship, divine-human, 245. 
See, also, friendship. 

Hood-giving : is life-giving, 96, 149 ; on 
Calvary, 285 f. 

flood-letting in love or sorrow, 85-89 

llood-lickers : <*mong Arabs, n ; at 
Mecca, 348 

Blood-money : in Arabia, Palestine, 
Africa, 261 f ; among Bed'ween, 
262, refusal to receive, 262 f. 

Blood-ransoming in various places, 324- 

Blood-shedding in making covenants, 
207. See, also, Human Sacrifice 

Blood-sprinkling- in China, 152 f. , m 
Central America, 175; at Sinai, 
239 ; upon altar, 243 , rules observed 
by the priest in, 246. 

Blood-testifying, 143-147, 359 f 

Blood transfusion : as a means of life, 
115-126, 242 ; in Germany, 125 , m 
New South Wales, 336 f. , m Per- 
sia, 370. 

Blood-union, hints of, 332-342. 

Bloody Hand, 247, 304, 342. 

Blood-yielding vicariously in Australia, 

Bloody sweat of Jesus, 279. 

Bock, Carl : cited, 73, 129. 

Body of substitute sacrifice represents 
divine nature, 204. 

Boechler: cued, 96 

Bonwick: cited, 126. 

Book of the Dead, Egyptian : references 
to the rite m, 78-83, in , traces of 
the rite in, 99-101 , gleam of divine- 
human inter-union in, 156 ; hints of 
the rite in, 333 

Borneo : friendship in, 49, 53 ; blood 
brotherhood in, 52 , wedding cere- 
mony in, 73; head-hunting in, 129; 
marriage customs among the 
Dayaks in, 192 , lessons of blood 
in, 308 f. ; cutting of covenant in, 
322 f. 

Bosom, blood from, in the rite, 45. 

Boyle, Robert, his inquiries in this 
field, 134. 

Bracelet: a covenant symbol, 64-68; 
or armlet, on Oriental kings, 75. 

Brahmanic recognition of divine-human 
inter-communion, 160 

Brazil, the rite in, 55 , office of goel in, 

Bread and wine, covenant in, 281 f. 

Bread : covenant of, temporary, 293 ; 
blood or, 293. 

Brebeuf, Jean de, martyrdom of, 127 f. 

Brewer ; cited, 72 

* Budegrooni . root meaning of word, 

222 f. 

Brmton, D G : cited, 112, 141. 
British Columbia, customs among In- 
dian girls in, 307 f. 
British Guiana, heart-eating in, 128 
Brotherhood, Covenant of, 10 
Brothers of the Covenant, 6 
Bruce, cited, 368 
Bruce, King Robert, heart of, 107 f. 
Brugsch cited, 79, 82 f., xio i 
Bruy : cited, 125. 




Bryant : cited, 114. 

Bull, blood of, in consecrating priest of 
Cybele, 362 f 

Bunsen cited, 78, 80-83, 99-101, 236. 

Burckhardt : cited, 132, 192, 223, 260. 

Burder: cited, 363, 369 

Burial of blood in the nte, 41 f., 243 f. ; 
in Mauritius, among Jews, among 
Christians, among Muhammadans, 

Burmah : friendship in, 44 ; marriage 
customs in- 193 , the rite in, 313-316 , 
blood-drinking in, 314. 

Burnt-offering : blood in connection 
with, 213; whole, its symbolism, 
248 f. 

Burton . cited, 55 f , 128, 218, 262, 304 ; 
on cutting the cheek, 218 ; on bal- 
ancing a blood account, 261 f. 

Butler cued, 71. 

Butter with blood, in covenanting, 338. 

Buxtorf cited, 219, 237 

CAFFRES. See Kafirs. 

Cam . his blood-withholding, 219-221. 

Cameron, Commander, makes blood 
covenant in Africa, 15-18 

Cancelling of blood. See Blood-can- 

Cannibalism : m Africa, 22 ; among 
American Indians, 127 f., 187 f , 
basis of, 183-190 , in ancient India, 
185 f , m Feejee Islands, 187, in 
Central Amenca, 189; m Omsa, 
IQO , in Sumatra, 190 , in the New 
Hebrides, 371 f 

Canbs : heart-eating among, 128 ; blood- 
anointing among, 137 f. 

Carlyle: cited, 40. 

Cas&fna, as covenant rite in Arabia, 351 . 

Castell : cited, 65. 

Castor: cited, 171. 

Castren . cited, 301. 

Catacombs, covenant tokens found in, 

5 : cited, 8 

Catiline and his fellow-conspirators, 60, 

Ceylon, form of marriage in, 71. 

Chaldean legend of creation, 1x2. 

Chamber? c cited, 367 

Chardm : cited, 71. 

Cheek, blood from, in the rite, 13, 2x8 

Chest, stamping the, 218 

Chica as substitute for blood, 197 f. 

Children : sacred food for, among In- 
dians, i8r. 

China traces of the rite in, 43 f , 109, 
364 f. ; thought of blood as life-giv- 
ing in, 123 f ; primitive worship 
in, 148-152 , horse sacrifice in, 152 f. ; 
sacrificing of cock in, 153, sacrifice 
and feasting in, 181 ; wedding cere- 
monies in, 197 f. ; significance of 

red thread m, 236 , heart-eating in, 
363 f 

Chinese character for " sacrifice," 357. 

Chnst . life and nourishment in, 276 ; 
union of life in, 342. 

Christian and Jew in covenant, 7 

Christian Fathers, testimony of, 354 f. 

Christians . use of covenant tokens 
among, 238 , charged with blood- 
dnnking, 321. 

Chrysostom- condemns use of covenant 
tokens, 238. 

Cicero : cited, 108 f 

Cigar-smoking in marriage ceremony 
among Dayaks, 309. 

Circassians, wedding customs among, 

Circumcision : blood covenant in, 79, 
2x5-224; its estimate by rabbis, 
22 x ; its significance, 351 f. 

Clark : cited, 180 f., 339. 

Clasping of hands in blood, 234-236. 

Classics : light from the, 58-65 ; refer- 
ence to blood-dnnkmg in the, 1x3 f. 

Clavigero * cited, 90, xo6. 

Clement of Alexandria on life in sacra- 
mental cup, 354. 

Clement of Rome on red cord of Ra* 
nab, 355 

Cobbett : cited, 145. 

Cocceius cited, 264. 

Cock sacrifice of, in China, 153 , blood 
of, at wedding in Scotland, 199 f. 

Coffee : a substitute for blood, 192 ; in the 
rite, in Persia, 370 f. 

Common life througn common blood, 7, 

10, 54-57, 60, 75, 77 f. , 147-190 

Communion . feasts in India, xoi f ; 
sacrifices m ancient Egypt, 171 f 

Constantino, the emperor, legend of, 1x7, 

Copts . traces of the rite among, 72 ; 
marriage customs among, 192. 

Corner, Lieut, : cited, 56 f 

Coronation ring, in Great Britain, and 
in ancient times, 74 

Cory : cited, 109, 1x2, 174, 

Covenant; tokens of, found in cata- 
combs, 238 ; meaning of the word, 
264; of A Dram. Mamre, and others 
at Hebron, 264 f. ; at jBeer-sheba, 
264 f ; between individuals, first 
Bible reference to, 264 f ; at Well of 
the Seven, 267 f , oath of, in Su- 
matra, 268 f. , of .blood, the true, 
280 f. ; of bread, and of blood, dls- 

, 339 f - 
t token* 

Covenant token* See Tokens of Cove- 

Cow sacrifices in India, 157. 

Cox and Jones . cited, X2x f., 130, 140, 



Cudworth : on Old Testament sacri- 
fices, 352; cited, 353, 358, 359 f. 

Gumming . cited, 152. 

Cup of communion, 281, 

Curtius: cited, 64. 

Gushing : cited, 305 f , 308. 

Cutting : the flesh, a survival of the 
rite, 85-96 ; the cheek in covenant- 
ing, in Mekkeh, 218 , a covenant, 
265, 267, 322 f. ; in hand, meaning 
of, 341 f. 

Cybele, consecration of priest of, 362 f. 

DAKOTA Indians : the rite among, 55 ; 
sacredness of heart among, 105 ; 
cannibalism among, 128. 

Damascus, the rite in, 8. 

David and Jonathan: their covenant, 
269 f. 

David s favor to Mephibosheth, 271. 

Dayaks , the rite among, 49 f. See, also, 

Dead, blood-drinking by, 114 f 

Death* of victim, a means toward an 
end, 246 ; atonement not made by, 
287 f. 

De Bergmann : cited, no f. 

Delitzsch, Friednch cited, 65. 

Denmark, blood-testifying in, 144 

Devil- worshipers in Peru, 115. t 

De Wette . cited, 40. 

Diodorus : cited, 170. 

Discerning the divine presence essen- 
tial in Hindoo sacrament, 164 

Divine-human- inter-union by blood, 
148-100; inter-communion in Egypt, 
173 , wood friendship, 245. 

Divine nature represented in substitute 
blood, 203 f 

Divorce-nng in Borneo, 330. 

Dodge, Col , on Indian, brotherhoods, 

Dog sacrificed in the rite in Western 
Asia, 371. 

Doolittle: cited, 197. 

Doorga, the blood-craving goddess, 
157 f. 

Door-posts and lintels blood-sprinkled 
in China, 153. 

Dorman: cited, 174, 177, 188 f. 

Double life m the rite, 7, 

Douglas : cited, 151, 197. 

Drake cited, 95 

Drinking blood in covenant. See Blood- 

Drinking ; inspiration in blood, 92 f , of 
healths, a survival of the rite, 201 f ; 
and eating together in covenant, 
240, 267--I7I . of coffee, in connec- 
tion with the rite, 370 

Druzcs : covenanting with those of 
another religion, 7 , sucking-cove- 
nant among, xx. 

Dubois: cited, 77, 155, 158, 161 f., 174, 
185, 196,218. 

EARS : blood from, m the rite, 90 f,, 
174 f. 

Earth, outpoured blood buried in the, 
180. See, also, Burial of Blood 

Eating : of blood prohibited, 102 f , 240 
f ; the sacrament a duty, among In- 
dians, 181; and drinking together 
in covenant, 240, 267-271 f. , on wit- 
ness-heap, 268 f. , as mode of cove- 
nanting, 313, together indicates 
union, 350 , blood, effect of, 357. 

Ebers : cited, 40, 79, 84, zoof., 170 f. 

Edersheim on sacrifices of the Mosaic 
ritual, 246-251. 

Edible animals alone used for sacrifice, 

Edkins : cited, 109, 148-151, 181 f., 220. 

Edwards: cited, 138 

Egypt : traces of the rite in, 70, 75, 77- 
85, 99-105, no f , ancient, sacra- 
ment of communion in, 170 , -waters 
of, turned to blood, 231 , ancient, red 
amulet in, _ 233 ; heart for life in, 
301 f. ; ancient, hints of the rite in,, 

Egyptian : word for "red" and 
"blood," 236; sacrifice, resem- 
blance to that of the Jews, 300 ; 
kings, their claims of union with 
gods, 356. 

El-A'asha . cited, n. 

Elbows, blood from, 175. 

Elephant sacrifices in India, 161. 

Elliott and Roberts : cited, 67 

j% inscription of, i 

Eschwege : cited, 325 

Eshcol, Manure, and Aner. their cove- 
nant, 264 f. 

Ethnic reachmgs after union with 
God, 356-359 

Evolution : or deterioration, 4 , of sub- 
stitute sacrifice in India, 157. 

Exceptions to points in first edition, 345. 

Exchange : of gifts, 14, 16, 20-22, 25- 
28, 32; of garments, 14, 370; of 
arms, 270 , of wampum belts, 327 f. ; 
of names, 334. 

FABRI: cited, 112. 

Face, cutting of, m Abyssinia, 368. 

Fairy tales of the North, gleams of the 

nte in, 88 f. 
"Faithful John" and the Norse king, 

Farrar : cited, 115, 143, 234, 236, 281, 

Fato-dra; its meaning m Malagasy, 


Fatrida: its supposed meaning in 

Malagasy, 346 

"Faust," covenant with blood in, 93 
Feasting : in covenanting, 148-153, 159- 
161, 167, 179 f , the accompaniment 
of the rite, 264, 370 f. See, also, 

Feathers, red : their significance, 328 f 

Feejee Islands: cannibalism m, 187, 

marriage customs in, 193 , the rite 

in, 338 f 

Feet bound with red cord m China, 


Fellaheen customs in Palestine, 129 f. 
*' Ferire : " meaning of the word, 267 
Femol : cited, 85 
Festival of Isis at Busiris, sacrifices at, 


Festus, Sextus Pompeius: cited, 63 f. 
Pielde: cited, 120, 124 
Fiery Cross : its significance in Arabia, 

317 f.; m Scotland, 317-320. 
Fingers : blood from, in the rite, 59, 96 , 

relation of, to heart. 71 f 
Finn, Mrs. : cited, 129 f. , on balancing 

a blood account, 260-262. 
Fire, a gift of the gods, 174. 
Firmicus on life m sacramental cup, 355. 
First-born son given m sacrifice, 150 f , 
156, 166 bee, also, HumanSacri- 

Flaccus : cited, 63. 

Flesh of sacrifices : eaten m India, 159 ; 
sharing of, by the sinner and his 
God, 250. 
Florus : cited, 60 

Food : restrictions on, removed in com- 
munion, 160-164, 168-170; of the 
soul, in Central America, 176 , for 
man, food for gods, 181 f , shared, 
gives common nourishment, 182 f. 
Forbes : cited, 54 ; on covenant oath in 

Sumatra, 268 f. 

Forehead : blood from, in the nte, 13, 90, 
320; blood mark on child's, 233, 
cutting of. among Germans. 367. 
Fowl : sacrifice of, among Dayaks, 
308 f. ; sacrificed at marriage cere- 
mony among Dayaks, 309 ; used 
in the rite m JBorneo, 323. 
France, blood-drinking in, 124. 
Frere . cited, 77, 109. 
Freytag: cited, 8, ix, 64, 220, 223. 
Friedlander: cited, 351 f., 357 
Friendship: shown m the nte, m 
Syria, 4-10; through the rite, 7, 58. 
63, 243 ; shown in sucking blood, 8 , 
among Arabs, 9-12 , in Africa, 12- 
38 ; in Europe, 39-42 ; among North 
American Indians, 43, 54, 56, in 
Bunnah, 44; in Borneo, 40, 53; 
among the Malays, 54, in Central 
America, 54 f., in Brazil, 55; in 
Polynesia, 56 f , in Scythia, 58 ; 

in the nte, 63 , shown m yielded 
blood, 117-121 , through blood, 
243 , legacies of, 270 f. 
Fruit juice for blood, 349 
Fuerst. cited, 64, 220, 222, 264. 

GALATIANS, wedding custom among, 

Gallaudet, Rev T H : his studies 

among deaf-mutes, 310 f 
Gamaliel ben Pedahzur cited, 146 
Georgians, wedding customs among, 

Genzim, Mount, Samaritan sacrifice 

at, 232. 

Germany . blood transference in, 125 ; 
students in, survival of the nte 
among, 366, 368 
Gesenms cited, 64, 264. 
Ghouls : superstition concerning the, 


Gibbons cited, 371. 
Gibeomtes* claim for blood recognized, 

3 2 S' 
Gifts exchanged in the rite, 14, 16, 

20 f , 25, 27-29, 66, 265, 334- 
Gilead, covenant of Jacob and Laban 

at, 268 

Ginsbuig : cited, 225 
Girdle, undei the, blood from, 174-176. 
Giving blood m proof of love, 85-92 ; 

in worship, 89-93, 96 
Gleanings from general field, 362-369. 
Goat: substituted for sheep m sacrifice, 
157, sacnficed m lieu of a man in 
India, 158 
God's gift of his Son, m proof of his 

love, 272 f, 

Godwyn* cited, 72, aoo, 218* 
Goel> office of, 259-263 ; in Brazil, 325 ; 

in Australia, 325 f. 
Goethe: cited, 95. 

"Golden Legend," Longfellow's, prof- 
fered blood m, 118 f. 
Gomara: cited, 106 
Goths their customs in covenanting, 

Grandidier, a reference to, 346 f 

Grant . cited, 338. 

Gray: cited, 150, 152-154. 

Great Britain, substitute blood in, 227. 

Grecian history, mentions of the rite m, 


Greece, wedding customs in, 198. 
Greek and Roman sacrifices, 108 f. 
Greek libations, a survival of the rite. 


Grimm: cited, 88 f., 120, 130 
Guatemala, legend of the rite m, 174. 
Guiana, Bntibh, eating of heart in, 128. 

H. A. L : cited, 136. 
Hamburger, on meaning of atonement, 



Hand : blood from, in the rite, 9, 13, 
41-43, 59, 62, 94, 265 f , of con- 
federates dipped in blood, 297 , 
meaning of cutting in, 341 f, 369. 
See, also, Bloody Hand. 

Hand-clasping . in blood, in the rite, 
236, token of, 328; hint of the 
nte in, 340-342 ; a survival of the 
nte, 368 f. 

Hand. Red. See Bloody Hand. 

Handkerchiefs dipped in blood, 263. 

Hands, striking. See Striking Hands. 

Happer, on traces of the nte m China, 
364 f. 

Harmer. cited, 368. 

Harper, cited, 64. 

Harrison: cited, 359 

Hasbayya, the rite in, 8. 

Hatton cited, 52. 

Head-hunting : in Borneo, significance 
of, 129 ; in Abyssinia, 368 

Healths, drinking of, a survival of the 
nte, 2ox f. 

Heap of witness in the nte, 45, 62 

Heart : blood from over, in the rite, 45 ; 
relation of finger to, 72 ; the source 
of blood, 72 , source of life, 99- 
105. 301 f. , sacredness of, among 
Dakotas, 105 , s>acredness of, in Cen- 
tral and v outh America, 105 f , 
hero's, preserved, 107 f , deemed 
sacred by Greeks and fc omans, 
208 f. ; as life centre, 126, 204 ; 
of lower animals eaten, 134-136, 
180 , symbol of personality, 204 , 
sacredness of, among ancient 
Egyptians, 300 f. ; sacredness of, 
in primitive America, 301 f. , rela- 
tion of milk and, 301 f, , symbolized 
by scarabaeus, 301 f. , significa- 
tion of the word, 302 ; new, is new 
life, 303; conception of, among 
Zunis, 305-308 , significance of, 306 f 

Heart-eating as means of life. 128 ; 
among dribs, 128 ; among Ashan- 
tees, 129 ; in Borneo, 129 ; in 
Australia, 129, in Africa, 129^ 135 f. ; 
among Araucanians, 131 , in the 
Norseland, 140 ; at sacred feasts, 
by Indians, 180 

Heber: cited, 158 f. 

Hefele : cited, 354. 

Herodotus* cited, 61 f, 126, 171 f, 
348 f , 366 , on witness of covenant, 
265 f , on blood-drinking among 
Scythians. 267 ; on anointing stones 
with blood, 268. 

Herrera. cited, 90, 107, 176-178. 
Herzog ; cited, 260. 
Hesiod : cited, 1x2. 
Himalayan districts, blood-drinking in, 

141 f. 

Hindostan : traces of the rite in, 67 ; 
blood-anointing in, 136 f. 

Holcombe cited, 197. 
Holmes . cited, 326 f. 
Homer cited, 108, 112, 297. 
Hoomayoon, the Great Mogul, as a 

friend, 67 

Horneman cited, 354 
Horse sacrifice of, in China, 152 f.; 

substituted for man in sacrifice, 157. 
House of the amulet, 7, 65 
Human-divine inter communion in 

Peru, 176 f 
Human sacrifices of first-born son, 156 , 

in India, 157, in ancient Egypt, 

170 f. , in ancient Guatemala, 174; 

in India m former days, 185 f ; 

among Akkadians, 299 f , among 

Sakarang Dayaks, 308. 
Hungary . superstitions in, 115 ; traces 

of the rue in, 366 
Hunter : cited, 163 f 
Huron Indians, cannibalism among, 

127 f., 188. 
"Hynd Horn," covenant ring in ballad 

of, 331 f. 

IBN Hisham : cited, iz. 

Iceland, traces of the rite in, 70. 

Idols, anointing of, with blood, 176 f., 
306-308. See, also, Blood-anoint- 

Ignatius, on life in sacramental cup, 754. 

I inportance of this study to all, 205 f 

Incest m bounds of the nte, 10,55-57. 

India . traces of the rite in, 66 f , 92, 109, 
333 ; necklace-bond of the covenant 
in, 76 f ; value of proffered blood 
in, 122 f. ; blood-drinking in, 141 f ; 
divine-human inter-communion by 
blood m, 155 , wedding ceremonies 
in, 194 ; form of adoption in, 194- 
196; substitute blood in, 227; 
heart for life in, 301 f. 

Indian girls in British Columbia : cus- 
toms among 307 f 

Indians, American . cannibalism among, 
187 f , the nte among, 339 f. 

Indissolubleness of the nte, 6. 

Initiation into new life m British Co- 
lumbia, 307 f 

Inspiration through blood, 114, 139-147. 

Inter-communion: divine-human, by 
blood, 155 ; with the gods, by par- 
taking of flesh and blood, 371. 

Inter-union: of the divine and human 
through blood, 147-190 ; of sinner 
and God symbolized, 247. 

Invoking God to witness the rite, 370 f. 

Involvings of the nte, 202-206. 

Ireland : traces of the rite in, 71 ; cove- 
nanting customs in, 199, use of 
thumb-ring in marriage in, 331 

Irenaeus : his condemnation of covenant 
tokens, 238 ; on the symbolism of 
scarlet thread, 355. 



Iroquois Indians : cannibalism among, 

128; use of wampum records 

among, 327 
Isaac* his blood proffered, 225-230, 

his covenant with Abimelech, 267 f 
Isaiah: his reference to table for altai, 

i67f , to the rite, 369. 
Isidore * cited, 70. 
Isis, blood of, represented by red amulet, 

81 f., 233. 
. Israelites, sacredness of blood among, 

240 f . 

JACKSON: cited, 141. 

Jacob and Laban, covenant between, 

Japan, survival of the rite in, 371 

Jegar-sahadutha . name for place of 
covenanting, 26$ f 

Jephthah's sacrifice of his daughter, 

Jessup. cited; 82. 

Jesus Christ . brings life to man, 273- 
286, his words about eating flesh and 
drinking blood, 276 f , his blood- 
giving m G ethsemane, 278 , his blood 
covenant through circumcision, 278 ; 

f cause of death of, 279 f*, voice 
of blood of, 360 

Jewish* custom of asking pardon of 
corpse, 146, sacrifice, its resem- 
blance to that of Egyptians, 300 

Jews : charged with sacrificing a Greek 
prisoner, 178 f,; wedding customs 
among, 199, charged with blood- 
drinking, 321 

Jezebel, blood of, licked by dogs, 312 f. 

Jonathan and David: their covenant, 

Jones cited, 70-75, 121, 238. 

Jonson, Ben * cited, 359 

Josephus . charge against Jews of hu- 
man sacrifice repelled by, 178 f , 
on the transference of life, 363. 

Juggernaut (Jagan-natha), sacrament 
of, 163 f. 

Juvenal: cited, 70. 

KAFIRS : blood for life among, 125 ; 

blood-washing among, 138. 
Kalisch on blood-shedding m covenants, 

Kapnar, Hebrew word for atonement, 


Karath t the Hebrew word, 267. 
Karians, cutting their foreheads, 171. 
Kayans, of Borneo: the rite among, 

50 ; heart and liver examined 

among, 308. 

Keble on circumcision of Jesus, 278 f. 
Keil and Delitzsch cited, 228, 260 
Kenrick : cited, 170 f 
Jthatkan* meaning of, 222 f. 
Khonds, cannibalism among', 190 

King Louis XI of France drinking 

blood, 124 

Kingsborough cited, 90 f 
" Knitting cup," at wedding, 199. 
Knobel on blood-shedding m covenants, 


Kohler cited, 302 
Koords, the rite among, 8 
Kotaiga, or Australian brotherhood, 


Krauss . cited, 366 
Kurtz . cited, 205 f 

LABAN and Jacob their covenanting, 


" Lacu " a hint of the rite, 334 
Lafitau cited, 327. 
Lambs as witnesses of the rite, 266. 
Landa cued, 90 
Lane . cited, 7, u f., 64, 72, 75 f , 192, 

220, 225. 260 
Lang: citea, in, 130 f. 
Laoaicea, Council of. its condemnation 

of covenant tokens, 238 
Laplanders, covenant-drinking among, 


La Roque cited, 368. 
LasCasas: cited, 289. 
La Trobe- cited, 327 f. 
Lauth : cited, no f. 
Layard cited, 75, 167. 
Lea cited, 146 

Lebanon, mountains of, the ritem, 5. 
Lefebure : cited, no f. 
Legacies of friendship, 370 f 
Legend, Brahmanic, of value of blood, 

122 f 
Legend of creation of man by blood 5 

Phoenician, 312 f, ; Grecian, 112- 

Legend of destruction of man Egyp- 
tian, no f. , American, ixi f. 

Legge- cited, 149 f, 154; on Chinese 
word for sacrifice, 357. 

Legs, blood from, m the rite, 20, 235, 
313 f. 

Lenormant cited, 80, 113 , and Cheval- 
lier. cited. 78. 

Leprosy cured by new blood, 116 f v 
125, 287 f., 334. 

Lepsms : cited, 78, 8x f., 236. 

Lessons of the rite, 202-206 

Lettsom: cited, 69, 122, TJX, 140, 144. 

Libations, Grecian and Roman, a sur- 
vival of the rite, 200. 

Licking blood m the rite, 59 

Liddell and Scott : cited, 304. 

Life, blood is, 38 f., 57, 79 f., 09 f., 
111-126, 241, 299 f,, 307 f, , by a 
touch of blood, 134-139; always 
from God, 147 ; to be taken only 
by God's order, 214; new, from 
the Author of life, 242; sharing the, 
343 ; blood-money for, 361 f. ; above 



price, 262 f ; for life, the goel's 
mission, 263 , m Jesus Christ, 275 f , 
given to save a friend, 284 f , old, 
purged by new blood, 287 f , atone- 
ment by, 287 f. , represented by 
name, 335 

Lightfoot . cited, 352, 361 f 

Lintels, blood sprinkled on: in China, 
153, among Dayaks, 309. 

Lion's heart eaten in Africa, 135. 

Liver a synonym of life, 303 f ; signifi- 
cation of the word, 304 f. , and 
spleen, conception of, among Arabs, 

Liver-eating among Bed'ween justified, 

Livingstone and Stanley: their blood- 
cancelling, 261. 

Livingstone makes the blood covenant, 
13-15, 166; cited, 225. 

Livy . cited, 297 

Longfellow . cited, 118 f % 

Longings of soul for union with God, 
272 f. 

Losk'el cited. 327 f 

Love-showing by blood-letting, 85-89. 

Lucian cued, 58, 91. 

Luther, R. M , on the rite among 
Karens, 313-315 

Lynd : cited, 55, 105, 236 f. 

McCofcMiCK, J H. . quoted, 369-371. 
Macrobms : cited, 72 
Madagascar, the rite in, 44-49 , 346 f 
Maimomdes on mingled bloods, 351 f. ; 

on Arabian view of blood, 357. 
Malabar, wedding ceremony in, 194 
Malachi s reference to table of the 

Lord, 167. 
Malagasy people, the rite among, 44- 

Malcom - cited. 137, 198 

Mamre, Eshcol. and Aner: their cov- 
enant, 264 f 

Mandrake, or love-apple, in. 

Manetho: cited. 170 

Marks stamped on shoulder, or on 
chest, 218. 

Marriage ceremony, survival of the 
rite in, 191-200, 337 f. 

Marriage customs in Ceylon, 71 ; in 
Borneo, 73, 308 f ; among Copts, 

Feejees, 193 ; in Namaqua Land, 
3 ; in Russia, in Greece, in Switz- 

in India, 332. 
Martm: cited, 150. 
Martyr, Justin on blood-drinking, 321 ; 

on red cord of Rahab, 355. 
Martyr, Peter : cited, 54 
Masai Land, blood-drinking in, 133 f. 

Mason : cited, 393 

Mather cited, 94. 

Maurice: cited, 363. 

Mayas, sacredness of heart among, 


Meaning of " goel," 259 
Mecca: the rite at, 348; stones from, 

Medhurst cited, 49. 
Megapolensis : cited, 187 
Mendieta. cited, 112, 176. 
Mephibosheth favor shown him by 

David, 270 f 

Method of the nte, universal, 267. 
Methods* of the rite in Madagascar, 

44-48, in Borneo, 44-54. 
Mexico : legends of. in f ; cannibalism 

in, 1 88 f. 
Milk and blood: in blood-cancelling, 

261 , their relation, 301 f. 
Milk-brothers, n f. 
Mills cited, 41, 117 
Mingled blood in death, in Hungary, 

Missionary use of the nte in Burmah, 

314 f. 

Mnemonic uses of wampum, 326-328. 
Modes of drinking the covenant, 9; 

of covenanting in Madagascar, 

346 f. 

Moffat on blood-bathing in Africa, 324. 
M omer- Williams : cited, 155, 157, 175, 


Montohnia : cited, 90. 
Moore : his Lalla Rookh, 321. 
Mornson cited, 149. 
Mosaic law blood-drinking forbidden 

in, 40, 251 ; recognition of the rite 

in, 240-263; place of bloody hand 

in, 247; saciifices of, 247 f., on 

blood-covenant symbols, 258; on 

ransom for blood, 260 f ; cuttings 

of flesh forbidden in, 368. 
Moses : sacredness of blood in days of, 

2zo ; neglecting circumcising of his 

first-born, 221, eating and drinking 

m covenant, 240. 
Mosheim cited, 359. 
Muhammad, on sacredness of blood, 353. 
Muhammadans, covenanting with, 7 
Murderer witnessed against by blood, 


NAAMAN, le, 

1 of, 116. 
,abbi Moses bar, on sig- 

nificance of blood-eating, 358. 

Nadab : his eating and drinking m cov- 
enant. 240. 

Nahuas, sacredness of heart among, 
105 f. 

Nakhl, Castle, sacrifice of dromedary 
at, 180 

Namaqua Land, marriage customs m, 


Name identical with life, 335 , new, 
given to youths in Australia, 336 , 
new, gift of, in New South Wales, 
336 f. ; of divinity, ethnic claim of 
right to, 356. 

Names exchanged, 334 f. 

Napier- cited, in, 143 

Natal, marriage customs in, 193. 

Nature, transference of, through blood, 

Naville cited, uof 

Nazarines, covenanting with, 7. 

Necklace a symbol of the covenant, 
76, token of the covenant, 194, belts 
and, of wampum, 326-328 

New Hebrides, cannibalism in, 371 f. 

New life: through new blood, 126, in 
the blood of Christ, 286-293 

New nature through new blood, 126-139 

New South Wales blood-cancelling, 
133 , the rite in, 336 f. 

Nibelungen Lied . bracelet-bond in, 69 , 
charm of blood in, 122 , blood- 
drinking in, 130 , testimony of blood 
in. 143 f 

Niebunr . cited, 223, 260 

Noah . his blood-giving, 212 f. 

Norseland : mythology, traces of the 
nte in, 39-42, 67-69, legends, in- 
spiration by blood m, 139 i , drink- 
ing the covenant in, 201 , substitute 
blood in, 227 ; heart for life in, 301 f 

Nose, blood from, in the nte, 90 

Nose-ring as a symbol of the covenant, 
in India, 164 f 

Nubia, blood-drinking in, 132. 

OATH of covenant . in Sumatra, 268 f. ; 

in Scotland, 319 
Oaths : in the nte, 6", 9, 12, 16 f , 20, 

31, 41 f, 44-47, 50, 5*1 54* 59' 6 3> 

Obadiah, Rabb'i : cited, 245 

Occult sacrifices of Hindoos, 161. 

Odin and L6ke" the nte between, 39- 

Oehler : cited, 259 f. 

Ogilvie * cited, 304 f. 

Oldham cited, 142. 

Oneness of life m Christ, 282-284, 342. 

Oriental- light on the Bible, 3, esti- 
mate of a son, 225 

Ongen. cited, 359. 

Origin, of these primitive ideas, 205 f , 
of idea of transmigration of souls, 

Ormuzd and Ahriman, legends of, 40. 

Osiris and Set, legends of, 40 

Otaheite See Tahiti. 

Outreachmg? for divine-human inter- 
communion, 204 

Ox . heart of, eaten m Africa, 135 , sub- 
stituted for horse in sacrifice, 157, 
substitute blood from, 347. 

PALACIO cited, 90 f. 

Palestine . Fellaheen customs in, 129 f ; 
Jews charged with tasting of pris- 
oner's blood in, 178 f , balancing 
a blood-account in, 261 f. 

Palmer . cited, 192 

Palms of hands, cuttings into, 369. 

Parkman. cited, 127 f. i8jc, i88f,, 325. 

Parsees, communion saciament among, 

Paschal Lamb, the true, 275 

Passover, the nte in, 230-238; signifi- 
cance of, 351 f. 

Passumah , a binding oath, in Sumatra, 
268 f 

Paton, John G cited, 371 f. 

Paul branded with the maiks of Jesus, 

Pedahmr, Gamal ben * cited, 146. 

Pegs, marking the dnnking-bowl m the 
Norseland, 201 

Penn, William, and Indians, covenant 
between, 328 

Persia . traces ^ of the rite in, 70, 358 f , 
369-371 , view of blood in, 358 f 

Peru : superstition in, 115 , sacrament 
of communion m ancient, 177 f. , 
human sacrifice in, 177 f. 

Phicol his part m covenant of Abime- 
lech and Abiaham, 266-268, 

Phoenicia, blood libations in, 109. 

Phylacteries a covenant token, 232 f, ; 
King Saul's, 237 f ; valueless with- 
out heart-remembiance, 257 , refer- 
ence to their origin, 329, 

Piedrahita- cited, 198 

Piehl. cited, 83. 

Pierced hands, a sign of the rite, 369, 

Pierret cited, 8r, 83, too, in, 300 f. 

Pierrotti cited, 225, 260. 262 f. 

Pig. henit of, examined among Saka- 
rang Dayaks, 308 , used m the rite m 
Borneo, 323, 

Pike . cited, 294, 245, 

Pindar : cited, 108 

Pitts : cited, 368. 

Phny : cited, 70, n6f. 

Plutarch : cited, 170 f. 

Pollux : cited, 304. 

Pope Innocent VII I. , reported treat- 
ment of, 124 f 

Porphyry : cited, 170, 359. 

Poseidonios . cited, 320 

Powell, on brotherhoods among Indians, 


Power . cited, 335, 
Prescott. cited, 177 
Price cited, ai8, 
Priest, Jewish his right of priority m 

t blood-sprinkling, 245. 
Primitive teachings of blood, 310-2x5 ; 

method of covenanting, 267. 
Prisoner of war devoted, sacrificed, and 

eaten in ancient Peru, 177 f* 



Proffer of "blood to God, or the gods, in 
the rite, 80-02. 

Prohibition of blood-drinking : among 
the Egyptians, 102 f., in God's 
commandment to Noah, 213 f. , m 
Mosaic ritual, 240 f., 251, 312, 368 

Prometheus, myth of, 304, 

QAMUS' cited, xx. 

Quran : its authorization of payment for 
manslaughter, 261. 

RAGUKNBAU cited, 127 

Rahab, significance of red cord of, 355 

Ralston cited, 115, 301 

Ransom for blood, 261, 324-326. 

Receiving of blood, receiving of life, 

203 f. 

Record of the rite preserved, 5 f. 
Red amulet, in ancient Egypt, 233. 
Red cord, Symbolism of, 196 f , 355. 
Red feather belt of Tahiti kings, 328 f. 
Red Hand. See Bloody Hand. 
Redhouse: cited, ix 
Red thread, significance of, in China, 

Renouf . cited, 40, 78-80, 82, 100-103, 172, 

333 ^ 35<5 

Restitution, not revenge, the object, 262. 
ReVille* cited, 91, 105-107, 174, 182, 


Reviser*?, Old Testament : their com- 
ments on "The Blood Covenant," 


Rice-beer as substitute for blood, 3x6 
Richardson cited, 304. 
Riggs cited, 55 , , 
Ring : as a symbol of the rite. 67-75 ; 

in the cup, a covenant pledge, 73 ; 

of divorce in Borneo, 330, sym- 

flesh, use of, in Australia, 331; 
bracelet and, at wedding in India, 

Ritual, Mosaic. Sec Mosaic Ritual. 
Roberts , cited, 164., 196, 225, 235 f., 396 
Robin redbreast, blood-marked, 142. 
Robinson: cited, 3x8. 
Roman : sacrifices, 108 f ; libations, a 

survival of the rite, 200 ; initiation 

of Jewish phylactery, 238. 
Roman Catholic Church : its refusal of 

cup to laity, 293. 
Roman history., mentions of the nte in, 


Rosenmuller cited, 63, 369 
Ross : cited, 200. 
3-ous and Bogan : cited, 198. 
^oussel . cited, xis f., 123, 133 f. 
' Rubrics," meaning of, 236. 
lussia. gleams of the nte in, 96; 

wedding customs in, 198. 

Ruth and Orpah: their differing rel 
tions to Naomi, 211 f. 

SACRAMENT- of the Holy Food, i 
India, 163 f. ; of the Haoma, amon, 
Zoroa&inans, 169 , of communion i 
Central America, 175-179. 

Sacredness of blood, 99-110, 240-245 

Sacrifice : to the gods, 122 f , meaning 
of, m Chinese, 148 f , 357 , as a mean 
of divine-human mter-union, 155 
157 ; inVedas, 156 , atfeast of Isis, in 
ancient Egypt, 171 , degrees of sane 
tity attached to, 250 f , relation of, 
to covenant, 359, St. Augustine's 
definition of, 357. 

Sacrifice, human: dear to the god&, 
122 f , in the Vedas, 156; in Ak- 
kadia, 166; m Peru, 177 f ; in In- 
dia, 186, 227, m Tahiti, 328 f. 

Saffron water a substitute for blood, 
77, 194-196, at wedding; in India, 

Sahagun: cited, 189 

St John, Spenser: cited, 50 , 308 f., 
322, 330 

Sallust : cited, 60. 

Salutation, primitive modes of, 340 f 

Samantanpassoveron Mount Genzim, 

Sanchoniathon . cited, 109, 112 

Sanskrit, "saffron" for " blood '* In, 
77, 194. 

Satan, union with, by blood, 92-94 

Saul, King; his phylacteries, 237 f., his 
relations to David, 269-271 

Sayce, cited, 115, 166, 168-170. 

bcalp, divided, in covenanting, 339 f. 

Scandinavian legends of life through 
blood, 121 f 

Scarabseu*! symbol of heart, 301 f. 

Schaff-Herzog cited, 170. 

bcheller. cited, 64 

Schomburgk * cited, 128. 

Sclavic races, the nte among, 366 f. 

Scotland . traditions of blood of the 
gods in, 142 f ; blood-testifying in, 
145 ; blood at wedding in, 199 fT 

Scott: cited, 73, sigf. 

Scythians, blood-drinking by, 126, 267. 

Semitic nte, an ancient, 4. 

Setee 1., an inscription to, 301. 

Seven stones of witness, 265 f 

Seven, Well of the, covenant at, 367. 

Shastika Indians, exchange of names 
among, 334 f. 

Shechem centre of worship of Baai- 
bereeth, 218 f. 

Sheep substituted for ox in sacrifice, 

Shelley . his heart preserved, 108. 

Shooter, cited, 125, 136, 193. 

Shoulder, stamping the, 2x8. 

Sibree : cited, 346 f. 

3 86 


Signet-rmg, a symbol of the rite, 70. 

Simon . cited, 90 f 

Simpson, on the cause of Jesus' death, 

285 f. 

Sm-offering in Mosaic ritual, 348. 
Sinai: the rite at, 238-240, substitute 

blood offered at, 240 ; covenanting 

at *33 

Sioux Indians, the rite among, 55. 

Siralen, sacrifice of, to Vishnoo, 227. 

Sirutunden and Vanagata-ananga, 227. 

Smith, E. R. : cited, 334 

Smith, Prof. W. Robertson: cited, n, 
168, 347-349, his reference to the 
bloody hand, 247, on casfona, 351, 

Smitii-Hackett : cited, 234, 236. 

Smoking the covenant in Borneo, 51. 

Soane : cited, 117, 124 

Society Islands : tayoship in, 56 f , 
traces of the nte in, 334. 

Solomon : cited, 101 f. 

Son: m the Vedas, 156; sacrificed and 
eaten, in legend of India, 186, 
Oriental estimate of a, 225 f. 

Sophocles: cited, 108 

Sothern: cited, 71 

Soul, one, in two bodies, 38. 

South Africa, heart for life, 301 f. 

Southey : cited, 55, 178. 

Speaker's Commentary, on the rite, 
207, on Jewish sacrifice, 300, on 
blood as synonym of life, 303. 

Spencer, Herbert- cited, 54, 9f , *", 
115, 126, 128 f , 132 f , 137 f., 176- 
1 78, 193, 198, 298 f, 335; on die 
nte, 299-301 

Spleen and liver, conception of, among 

Sprinkling* of blood : on doorposts and 
lintels in China, 153 ; upon altar, 243, 
a higher office than slaying of vic- 
tim, 245 , significance of, 352 f. ; on 
the lintels, in Borneo, 309. 

Squier cited, 90 f. 

Stamping the body with hot iron, 218. 

Stanley, Dean* cited, 247 

Stanley, H. _M. * cited, 18-33, 37*35 ; 
his relations to Mirarobo, 235 , on 
sacrifices, 247; his blood-cancel- 
ling, 261 f 

Stolberg : cited, 369. 

Stomach, blood from, in the rite, 13. 

Stone, the Living, 306 f. 

Stones: as witnesses in covenanting, 
265 f , 268, 370 , for trees m cove- 
nanting, 208 f , anointing of, among 
Arabs, 268 f , 348 f.; m British 
Columbia, 307 f 

Stone-god : its revivifying by blood, 

Strabo: cited, 358. 

Strangled animals forbidden as food, 


Striking a covenant, 59, 62. 

Striking hands : m co\enant, 234-236 ; 
significance of, 341 

Stroud: cited, 279, 285 f , on agony of 
Jesus in Gethsemane, 279. 

Substitute blood of a common victim, 
52, 323 ; m sacrifice in Egypt, 170- 
173 ; in covenant sacrifice in Cen- 
tral and South America, 173-178, 
offered by Abel ,21 1 , by Noah, 213, 
in India, 227; in Great Britain, 
227 f. ; in the Norseland, 227, m 
Arabia, 227, m Moab, 228, in 
Phoenicia, 228,, at Sinai. 240; 
among the Jews, 240, 245 f ; sub- 
stitute body offered at altar, 249; 
as a means of inter-union, 346-350; 
in the New Hebrides, 371 f 

Substitutes for blood, 191-202, 316, 348 f 

Substitutes for human sacrifices m In- 
dia, 185 f. 

Sucking blood * m the nte, 5 f., 29 f., 43, 
51 ; its significance, 8. 

Sucking brothers, it f. 

Sumatra cannibalism in, 190 ; covenant 
oath in, 268 f 

Supper, the Lord's, 280-282. 

Swanwick. cited, 05. 

Switzerland, wedding customs m, 198. 

Symbolic inter-umon with God, 251. 

Symbolism made reality in Jesus Christ, 

2 74/ 

Symbols, blood-covenant, m Mosaic 
law, 238. 

Syria: the rite in, $f , 8, 70, blood 
from^the arm in, 235 , blood-cancel- 
ling in, 261. 

Syrian Arabs swearing by their blood, 

TABLE, for altar, 189. 

Table of communion synonymous with 
altar, 167 

Tacitus cited, 60 f. 

Tahiti (see, also, Otakite)\ traces of 
the rite in, 85-87 ; kings, royal belt 
of, 328 f. ; marriage ceremony m, 

Talbot. cited, 167-169. 

Talmud . office of blood-sprinkling in, 
246 f, ; on blood-eating, 35* , story 
of Zechanah's blood m, 360-362. 

Tasmania, blood for life in, 126. 

Tasting each other's^ blood by cove- 
nanting parties, 297 f 

Taurobolium, a baptism of blood, 362 f. 

Taylor : cited, 236, 367 

" Tayo, '* a hint of the nte, 334. 

Tertullian : cited, 60 f,, 70, 321. 

Theories of origin of phylacteries, 329. 

Thigh, blood from, m the rite, 313 f, 

Thompson : cited, 132, 135 f. 

Thomson : cited, 225, 363 f 



Thumb-ring as a wedding ring, 71, 331. 

Thumbs . blood from, in the nte, 59, 62; 
binding of, in marriage in Ceylon, 

Timaeus of Locn cited, 304. 

Tod, Colonel . cited, 66 

Tokens of covenant : in passover, 230- 
238 , their use denounced by Gen- 
eral Council, 238 , among American 
Indians, 326-328; in East and West, 
326-332 , in Australia, 336. 

Tongue : blood from, in the nte, 90 f., 

Transfusion of blood : in the rite, 5, 12, 
14-18, 20, 26, 28, 32, 35 f 38 f , 
242, 312, 370 ; as a means of life, 115- 
126 , carrying a new nature, 133 ; in 
New South Wales. 336 f. 

Transmigration of souls, 310-313. 

Tree, connection of, with the rite, 35, 
37, 53, 104 f ,266, 268 f., 313, 3*6- 

Triad Society in China. 44, 364 f. 

Tribal absorption of lire, 131. 

Tunis, the bleeding hand fn, 342 

Turkey, traces of the rite in, 85, 371. 

Tylor ; cited, 96, 129, 139, 174, 201, 236. 

Tyre, the nte in, 8. 

UNION with the divine, an object in 
blood-letting, 89-96, with evil spirits 
through blood, 93-95 , of two lives, 
by blood commingling, 202 f , of 
man's spiritual nature with God, 
258 ; in Christ, 342 ; by substitute 
blood, 346-350 

Unity secured by common blood, 350. 

Universal primitive method of covenant- 
ing, 267 

Unnoticed signs of the rite, 333 

VAMPIRE, superstition concerning the, 

114 f. 

Vanagata-ananga and Sirutunden, 227. 
Van Lennep . cited, 90 
"Vedas, traces of the nte in, 156 f 
Vicarious blood-yielding : m South 

America, 131 f, , in Nubia, 132 , in 

covenant sacrifice, 166. 
Vicanous sacrifice. See Substitute 


Virgil- cited, 108 
Virile member, blood from, in the rite, 

go, 174 f. 

Vital union by substitute blood, 346-350. 
Vivifying power of blood, x 10-126, 284- 

Voice of blood, the, 143-147, 359-362. 

See, also, Blood-testifying. 
Von Wrcde : cited, 261, 318. 

WAMPUM records, 326-328. 
Wanyamuezi, blood brotherhood among, 

WasTiburn, President, on traces of the 

rite, 366 f 
Weapons of war, in connection with the 

rite, 16, 32, 35 f , 45 f., 53, 59, 62, 

73, 297. 
Wedding-ring, a survival of the rite, 

Well of the Oath : place of covenant, 

265 267. 
Well of the Seven : place of covenant, 


Wellsted: cited, .325. 
Westcotf cited, 212, 214. 
Western Asia, traces of the rite in, 371. 
Wetzstem : cited, 9 f 
Whiskey, a substitute for blood, 193, 

Wilberforce : cited, 355. 

Wilkinson: cited, 40, 75, 80, 100-102, 
170-172, 300. 

Williams, S Wells : cited, 109, 149 

Williams and Calvert : cited, 187 f., 193, 

Wine : with and for blood, 63-65, 73, 
191-202, 218 f. ; bread and, in cove- 
nant, 281 f. ; dregs of, for blood, 

Witches pledging their life in blood, 
93 f. 

Witness-stones: among the Arabians, 
265 ., among Indians of British 
Columbia, 307 f ; in Persia, 370. 

Woman as a party to the rite, 10, 13- 
*S, 43 1 54 * 66-77- 

Wood : cited, 69 f , 193, 198 f., 338. 

Word of Ra is bread, 173. 

World-wide sweep of the rite, 43-53* 

Wnsts, blood from, in the nte, 16, 370. 

XKNOPHON: cited, 297. 
Ximenez: cited, 90. 

YAJNO, great sacrifice of the, in India, 


Yellow-hammer, blood-marked, 142 f 
Yielding of blood, yielding of life, 

203 f. 
Yoruba country, blood-anointing in, 

138 f. 

Yucatan, the rite in, 54. 
Yung Wing : cited, 44. 

ZECHARIAH, voice of blood of, 360-362. 
2ipporah circumcision of herson, 2af . 
Zulus, blood for life among, 125 
Zunis . their conception of the heart, 




. 211 


. . 2X2 


24 8 . . . * 299 
24 5, 6 ... . 213 

29 15-25 . . 213 

33 ii 216 

: x-6 , , 213 



. 64 

13 6 

19 : 6, 12 

22 13-21 


4. 10, II . . . 
6 IA. 

8 20 

. . 213 

27 9-26 . . . 
28 . x-68 


. . 2X4 

IV 18 .' . . 

. .268 

30 x-6 
32 14 

14. 13 

14. 22 . 
je; 6 

. . 22O 

S, ", i5 249 

. IO-I2 . . . 213 
. X3, 17 . . . . 247 
I 4 , I 5 . . , . 2X 3 

32 i? 


15= 7-i8 

3 8, 26 247 
4. 6,7,17,18,25,30, 
34 248 
4- 13, 14 . ... 247 
7 26 ... 241 
8 14-22 ... . 249 
8 18, 19 2x3 
9' 8-22 249 

2. X8-20 

6 16-25 




17: 2, 7-9, 10, n, 
18: i 

13 *ai7 
. . 3x7 

20. 3,5,9 

till :::::.: 

18: 1-8 


21 : 12 

. 275 

21 ' 22-24 .... 

21 : 30, 31, 33 
^ : 33 

. . 265 
. ,266 

221 X, 2 . 

22: 15, 18 
22: 18 

26. 25-29 . . . 
26. 30,31 . . . 
28 . 18-22 . . 

. .225 
. .230 
. 267 
. 268 
. .268 

16: 3-25 249 

16. 14, 15 248 
17: 3-6 ... .243 
17: 10 . ... 358 
17 xo-i2 241 



. 3l8 


30: 14-17 

. XXX 

, .268 

x 7 : ii. . . . 352 
17: 11,14 - - - -287 
17: 13 243,358 
17: H 241,309 

20: 5 310 

18: 1-3 


31: 44-47 
3 1 : 44-54 .... 
34 x-3i .... 

. .266 

. 269 

. . 2x8 

49 : xx 191 

2*5 324 

25 : 25 ff 260 

20; 13-17 

x * 1-16 

' 27 



, . 231 

I * XO . . * k 


4 20-26 .... 

221, 222 

. . 231 


. 5471 

12* 1-6 

i2 : 7-10 

. 231 

35-12 259 
35: *92i,24,25,27 .259 

12: 17 
14: II 


. 364 

12: 7-13 
12: 44-48 . . . 
13: 3-10, u-x6 . 
2i : 18-27 .... 

. 232 



35 : 9"34 260 


6 4-9,13-22 ... .234 
83 173 

21; 1-9 . , . , , t 

18- 26-28 


24 i-n .... 

21 * 17-23 . . 


24: 3-8 

, . 298 

xo : 14-16 . . . . 256 

22! 35-3 . 






5- i-*4 
9 3~37 



49 I5,l6 . ... 369 
49 * 16 234 

49 * 18 . . . 235 



i 1-14 . . . 274 


S3 4-6,12 286 

6: Si, 55 285 

o: 53. 54 200 


2O I 7 


59 20 ....... 359 

6 : 53-58 276 



62 is.*::;:'.. 23? 

63. 16 . . . 259 

65; II 167 

6 . 60 ... ... 278 

8. 31,32 -173 
10 10, 18 . . . . 285 

3 10-12 



7 ' 21-23 255 
22 . 24 235 
31 ir 259 

15 . 4-7 283 
15: 13 . . 7,229,285 
15 13-15 ... 282 
16. 13, 17, 19 . . 173 



31 : 3i-34 - - - -258 
34: 18 . . . 264,322 
50 : 34 . ... 259 

17. 1-24 . . .284 
17. 19. ... . . 173 
19' 17-37 - .285 

3 * 2 -9 

19 25 ... 


S 235 




16 . 6 352 

15 2-29 215 
21 : 18-25 . . , 215 

tfi 4. e 






SO 717 ...... 


6 * 47 255 

A_ or-/* 

5 0: 12,13 . . . 
eg , 8 



43 ... 220 

fi fi 

5812 280 

' ' * ' 

5 ! 1221 ..... 245 


3 : i-4 


39 26 . ... 191 

6*23 . . .242,286 

4- *8 

4 * 27 



8-32 2 73 



7. 2,3 ... 
it . 15 margir . . . . 


6-34 *9* 


6 15 . 342 

22 24-26 . . 
23* n ... 



4 ' 4 r 73 

10 : 14-17 293 
10 : 21 . . . . 168 


ii * 25 . 281 

J 3 I2 47 

4- 9* * 


3 e 6 



26: 26-28" 281 
27 : 33-54 285 

14 23 281 
14 24 299 

13 ' 336 


/"AT ATT A"NfC; 

37 : 3,8 
4X . 8 



a 20 289 
36.. .... 220 

43- M 
44* ,24 
4. 17 


IT * 51 362 

15 : 22 70 
22 : 44 280 

22* 14, 15, 19, 20. .. 28l 

23 : 33-47 28 5 


3 6-9, 16, 29 . . 278 
3:7-9- - 2 57 
3 : 28, 29 . . . . 291 
4:5 '95 
6. 17 2l8 




I ' 7 . . . . 

2 9 
. 336 



... 278 


I . 20 


6: 13 . . 

. . .360 

. 305 

4 : 25 
5- 30 



1:1 .. 
9:16,17. . 

. . . 252 

... 284 

. . . 239 

3 18 



. 289 

. . . 298 

i JOHN. 


i : 19, 20 
2: 9-11 

. 29* 

10 4 . 
TO- 5-9 . . . 

10 10, 14-22, 28 

10* 29 .... 

. . .252 

. . 275 
, 29 292 

5 ii, 12 

. 286 

5 13,20 .. 

* 5 


. 42 

i 8 



zx 18 

3 : 3 

I2'24 .... 



i : 10 ........ 

13 ' 20 ... 
13 ' 2O. 21 . . 

... 360 

. . aoa 

; *7 


2 : 21-23 230 

9 4 o 
IV 8 


je j 

i : 1-3 

13 16 . . . 


22: 4 

. 154 




FROM The Old Testament Student (PROFESSOR W. R. HARPER, 

The volume is a marvel of research, considering that the field it covers 
is hitherto unexplored. The author seems to have ransacked all litera- 
ture, ancient and modern, archaeology, medical science, travels, poetry, 
and folk-lore j Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, and Roman antiquities, 
Chinese and Indian lore, Scandinavian sagas, and patristic literature, 
have yielded their contributions of illustrative facts. This material is 
handled with consummate scientific skill. There is no flight of imagina- 
tion, no tumid rhetoric. Everything is subordinated to a presentation of 
facts, and such inductions as may be derived from them by no undue 
pressure. We do not see, therefore, how the main principle of the book 
can be successfully controverted. The facts are indisputable, and they 
tell their own story. Nor can we refrain from commending the volume 
as a most striking and valuable contribution to the religious thought of 
the world. It is emphatically one of the few books that no religious 
thinker can afford to be without. We doubt if any man can rise from its 
perusal without feeling that his grasp of saving truth is stronger, dearer, 
and more comprehensive than ever before. 

THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, IN The Presbyterian Review. 

The ingenuity with which this multitude of seemingly heterogeneous 
details are brought into mutual relation, and the fresh and often unex- 

pected light thrown upon them by the connection in which they are heie 
placed, or the aspect under which they are viewed, keeps the reader 
constantly on the alert, and makes the volume as suggestive and instruct- 
ive as it is entertaining. The enthusiasm and earnestness of the author 
manifest on every page cannot fail to secure attention, even from those 
who hesitate at some of his conclusions. . . . The most interesting 
chapter to a majority of readers will doubtless be that in which applica- 
tion is made of the pnnciples of the volume to passages and institutions 
of the Bible The illustration thus affoided of the meaning of circum- 
cision (p. 215) is very happy; so are the remarks on the sacrifice of 
Isaac (p. 224), and on our Lord's words : " He that drinketh my blood 
hath eternal life " (p. 276). 

SEMINARY, IN The New York Evaiigelist. 

Dr Trumbull rightly sees that the essential thing in sacrifice is not 
the death of the victim, as is commonly supposed, but the life of the victim, 
which is secured in the blood for the purposes of the sacrifice. It is the 
use that is made of this blood which is the most important feature of 
sacrifice. . . . We thank the author for this fruit of vast labor and 
persevering research. It is worthy of the study of all students of religion. 

NARY, IN The New Engender and Yale Review. 

By a wide induction of particulars, which exhibit favorably the learn- 
ing and reading of the author, he has shown the existence, in di/Tercnt 
ages and countries, of a form of blood-covenanting in which two persons, 
through the intermingling of each other's blood, or by mutually tasting 
or drinking of it, or by its transfusion into each other's veins, establish 
an eternal friendship, on the basis, thus conceived to be gamed, of a 
common life, soul, or nature This the author presents as the true key 
to the symbolism of blood in sacrifice, both in the heathen world and in 
the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. . , . It is no objec- 
tion to this theory that it is new. If the respected author has not estab- 
lished on a satisfactory foundation the theory he propounds, he has been 
successful in bringing together an amount and variety of interesting facts 
bearing upon it which make his volume entirely unique. 

DANIEL CURRY, D.D., LL.D., IN The Methodist Review. 

This is a curious, a remarkable, and a very valuable book. The 
author in his reading having detected, as many others have done, the 
occurrence among widely separated races of men of the practice of 
making use of blood in covenant-making, set himself at work to find out 
the nexus by which this common practice among different peoples is 
connected together. . . . The book is well written, the subject ably 
thought out, and the conclusions stated in a manner wholly unobjection- 
able. It is well that such a book has been written, and its intelligent 
and discriminating reading will do good. 


"The Blood Covenant," by H Clay Trumbull, D.D., author of 
*' Kadesh-Barnea," and editor of The Sunday School Times, is a marked 
book. The author seems to prove beyond a doubt that the blood cove- 
nant is one of the most ancient and universal institutions. This idea is 
founded on the representation familiar to Old Testament scholars, that 
the blood stands for the life. Those who enter into the blood covenant 
pledge their life-blood in each other's defense, and form a more solemn 
bond than any which can be established by marriage or the closest 
natural relationships. Dr. Trumbuli shows that substitute blood was 
the basis of inter-union between God and man, and that the shedding 
of blood, not the death of the victim, was the important element in sac- 


I have been astonished at the mass of facts which you have been able 
to bring together and to group around this central idea. It is a study 
completely new, and one which I hope will bring forth fruit 


Allow me to express my admiration at the research you display on 
every page ; at the wide induction on which you rest your conclusions ; 
and on the most striking results to which these conclusions point. I 
think it a most admirable book ; intensely interesting and of the highest 
moment in the light it throws on things most sacred. 

FROM The Churchman. 

We hardly know which lias struck us most strongly the varied and 
curious learning so copiously displayed in this book, or the keen and 
convincing reasoning by which it is applied. It is not easy to get away 
from Dr. TrumbulPs conclusions, or to overlook the fact that he never 
begs the question or forces unduly the manifold citations he uses in sup- 
port of his theory. . . . In the bearing of this topic on Sciipture, 
especially as elucidating the geneial idea of sacrificial covenant, and also 
as illuininating a host of minor passages, otherwise obscure, we acknowl- 
edge the great value of this work. It seems to us to throw a true and 
important light upon the sacrament of the Holy Communion, and to 
rescue it alike from Roman perversion and Zwinglian degradation. 
Throughout we have been impressed by its reserve of power, its care not 
to press unduly any analogy. It seems to us a model of what biblical 
study should be, at once removed from the indiscriminate catching at 
every straw of resemblance which floats on the surface, under the plea of 
pidus opinion, and from the skeptical rationalism which would reduce 
everything to its lowest terms of bald and meagre interpretation. 

FROM The Examiner. 

To say that the book is interesting, fascinating, instructive, suggestive, 
is only to say what every intelligent reader will admit after reading a 
dozen pages. ... A flood of light is poured on the Incarnation, 
the Atonement, the Lord's Supper. Dr. Trumbull believes his thesis. 
He argues for it strongly, with wide and accurate learning and with 
reverent faith. He has written a book that every Christian student ought 
to read and to re-read. You may not agree with it, but you will find it 
bristling with facts, and remarkably suggestive. If the author is right 
in his positions, then both exegesis and theology, as human sciences of 
divine things, are improvable sciences. 

FROM The [GERMAN] Reformed Quarterly Review, 

Whoever has read Dr. Trumbull's " Kadesh-Barnea " will have 
formed large expectations of any new book from his pen, lie will 
expect the fruits of broad scholarship, of wide reading, of patient 
research, of an earnest purpose, and of a noble enthusiasm. Nor will he 

be disappointed in the present work, which, written in a clear,, nervous,, 
and beautiful style, fascinates the reader by its freshness and novelty. 
. . . The theme is new, and the treatment of it interesting and 
fresh. . . . The book is a marvelous array of facts gathered from 
every quarter under heaven. The collection of them must have involved 
a wide range of reading. Nor are they facts that are simply curious, or 
of interest to the student of myth and folk-lore, of primitive ideas and 
customs, and of man's origin and history. They are facts that are of the 
highest value, especially to the theologian, on account of the bright light 
they cast on many pages of the Bible. Beliefs so deeply rooted in the 
human mind that they find expression in forms of blood-covenanting 
everywhere and at all times, cannot be devoid of truth, and must be 
taken into account, if only for their illustrative power, when we come to 
the interpretation of the Scripture. Indeed, they have an important 
bearing on biblical doctrine, particularly on that of the Incarnation, the 
Atonement, and the Lord's Supper. 

FROM The American Hebrew. 

This is a most important study hi biblical archaeology, and manifests 
a spirit of research which was once distinctively German, but which has 
within recent years found domicile in America. Dr.Trumbull had 
manifested in his " Kadesh-Barnea" an industrious and patient studious- 
ness, which, coupled with intelligence and culture, may be relied on for 
inviting scientific results. In the present work, however, he exhibits in 
a still higher degree these rare qualities. There is something veritably 
portentous in the thorough manner in which he masses the widely scat- 
tered facts concerning the significance of blood-covenanting among 
various peoples. 

FROM The Moravian. 

We consider this remarkable and original work the most important 
and highly significant contribution to biblical theology that has been 
made within recent years . . . The book will be a revelation to 
many, not altogether agreeable, perhaps, to those whom it will necessitate 
to modify or surrender dogmas long held on the authonty of speculative 
reason and traditional interpretations of Scripture, but heartily welcome 

to all who really want to know the truth, and care for it more than for 
mere opinions, however old and humanly authoritative. As a positive 
scientific commentary on all Bible teachings and icfeiences to the sym- 
bolism of sacrifice, the Atonement, and the Lord's Supper, it must take 
the place of every other commentary, and is absolutely essential to every 
open-minded student of Scripture.